The Roman director Fabiana Iacozzilli – winner of the ANCT Critics Award 2019 for La Classe – is the director of En Abyme, a work written by Tolja Djoković – the winner of the “under 40” drama section of the Biennale College Theatre 2021/22 event – on the theme of deep bottomless immersion, and of the abyss as a subtle and constant presence. A continuous melody in which images, actions, environments, sounds and words are engaged in a dialogue, building new meanings.
“The text by Tolja Djoković” – reads the director’s notes – “narrates the attempts made on the one hand by James Cameron and, on the other, by a little girl/woman to bring back up to the surface pieces of an unexplored abyss. For Cameron, the challenge is to descend into the Challenger Abyss, in the very heart of the Mariana Trench, a place that no one had ever reached before him, and then to re-emerge with certainties about that unknown world. As for the little girl/woman's descent, the journey into her depths brings back pieces of her own life, glimpses of a past that she lived with her father and that perhaps she had even removed from her memory, moments of solitude accompanied only by her viewing of James Cameron's film Titanic.
En Abyme is therefore a game of reflections, a prismatic text which, working on a Droste effect structure, continually reverses the point of view from which the events narrated are observed and makes us question ourselves about who we are, who is watching us, and what we are able to bring back to light about ourselves.
The director's intent is to accompany the spectator in these two immersions, to take another look at a descent which, while the diver drops down into an abyss-cave that recalls the maternal womb, above all becomes an obstinate search for a father, for a relationship with the father figure, and the desire to be seen and recognized by the father.
The show, through a constant dialogue between the dramaturgical mechanism with its four channels - the eye of the camera, the Mariana Trench itself, the documentary, and the captions - and the scenic mechanism, which, as though it were a film to be seen again and again in search of a meaning, puts at the centre of the narration the projected images of the life of the little girl/woman, and questions even the possibility of grasping in a single photo frame of our life a connection between what is inside and what is outside or the possibility of re-emerging alive from the Mariana Trench that is present in each one of us."