Lost memories office
Ufficio Ricordi Smarriti / Lost Memories Office is composed by 7 episodes, in every episode there are 10 rooms to visit.
Every episode lasts 40 minutes and it’s for one spectator every 4 minutes. In every room the spectator finds one or more everyday-life-expert who tells him one story and then leads him to the next room.
assistant director Ada Delogu
Ufficio ricordi smarriti is both a tangible place and a place of the mind: it preserves, brings back and examines memories, allowing the resurfacing of the many identities that time has witnessed us taking on and inhabiting.
What identities do we have, and how many are there?
How and when does our identity change over the course of our life?
What are the signs that we leave behind us?
Our identity lives in our memory.
We are all that which we leave in the memory of those who meet us.
Does time determine what I am?
Is it time that changes what I am?
These are some of the themes that Collettivo N46-E13 has tackled, looking for stories to tell, emotions to embody, and memories to give to each spectator who visits the Lost Memories Office.
“If we are what we remember and what other people remember of us, what happens if we lose a memory?
Through the experience of theatre, we look for a key to remember who we are, the lost fragments of who we have been, who we might have been and who we might still be. Memories will be donated that could not otherwise be experienced, memories will be found again, that might otherwise have remained lost forever, and memories will be created that would never have existed otherwise.
The office that preserves Lost Memories will be opened every day, to allow us to find parts of our identities.
During the workshop before the performance, the need to create an intimate, personal relationship with the spectators emerged: the participants/actors make a gift of parts of themselves to each spectator, and this was only possible as part of a one to one relationship. It therefore quickly became clear what setting was needed: a place that could be individually travelled through and visited, made up of ten rooms of memory wherein the spectator could physically enter and come into contact with the world of memory of each participant. The participatory project was therefore built around the everyday-life-experts who brought their memories, personal writings or literary texts, and inspirations from their lives or the lives of others. Based on this, we wrote the text of the performance, in a complex, elaborate juxtaposition and contrast of elements carefully prepared for each episode.”
One only needs to look at the scores of pages in the notebook filled with comments and impressions the spectators wrote immediately after each episode to understand the effect of this performance.
Powerful, emotional and moving.
An immersion in memories and in memory itself that inspires the search for the deeper meaning of Time in our lives. An exploration that is relevant to everyone and inevitably draws everyone in.
We could describe this project as immersive theatre, participatory art, or a close-up experience. Many viewers decided they wanted to experience each episode, and ”Ufficio Ricordi Smarriti” was constantly sold out for six months.
Ufficio ricordi smarriti was produced by CSS teatro stabile di innovazione del FVG, created and directed by Rita Maffei for Collettivo N46°-E13°, a permanent workshop of citizens in Udine that use the geographical coordinates of their city as a name.
“Ufficio ricordi smarriti” was performed throughout the whole season of Teatro Contatto 36 in Udine, each week one of the 7 episodes of the cycle being presented, from November 2017 to May 2018.
The full meaning and the format of the project can only be understood by experiencing it, by stepping into the rooms of the “Lost memories office” as a spectator.
Only one spectator can enter at a time, one every four minutes, and each one will be the beneficiary of a performance. They are welcomed and made to feel at ease, in a strong relationship with the performers and the places they will visit during their journey, in a voyage exploring the themes of Time, Memory and Identity.
The idea for the workshop that led to the staging of the seven episodes was born from the pages of the physicist Carlo Rovelli’s work “The Order of Time”.
Each episode is made up of 10 tales, each presented and told by one or more of the everyday-life-experts, in 10 rooms.
The set device is a journey through ten different rooms (the set was designed by Luigina Tusini) and the spectator is invited to visit each one, and experience a memory each time.
“Ufficio ricordi smarriti” is a tale that engages the audience on a small scale, softly spoken and intimate, to be savoured at a slow pace, listening to the emotions that the tales, atmospheres, and face to face encounters can create.