Cosmology of Worlds Apart
by Ioana Jucan
Paperback – 165 pages – Drama/Theater
Release date: October 25, 2017
The first published work by Romanian playwright and theater artist Ioana Jucan, Cosmology of Worlds Apart is a groundbreaking collection of short plays that returns the performer to the rightful role as shaman, oracle, disembodied enchantress, and kidnapped voice. With artwork by Rebecca Henriksen, Cosmology of Worlds Apart simultaneously inhabits the earthly and the heavenly, the tangible and the untouchable. Through a maximalist lense wherein beauty and suffering are one, Jucan’s words rip the very roof from the theater to let the rain wash onto the reader, the audience.
Praise for Cosmology of Worlds Apart:
“Jucan’s language explodes into glittering fragments which at first appear light, brimming with clear-sighted humour, and yet these can also be packed into shards: tight, sparkling, dangerous. She tackles her project with outrage and bravery, and more than a little longing. At times there are indications of dark tendrils of subterranean currents rising up from the unknown. There is also a courage on display: love letters, diaries, the deeply personal. There’s a willingness to be scrutinized, judged, misunderstood. At other times Jucan retreats into the sanctuary of Spinoza, Chekhov, Heidegger. Her dialogue with some of the great solitary speculators is tied up with the everyday knottedness of sex, love and economics in her own time and place. Hers is an elastic language in constant febrile movement, searching for somewhere to settle, like water, like lava.
The photographs by Rebecca Henriksen which accompany Jucan’s texts are of ordinary objects, but photographed in such a way as to bring out patterned rhythms, so that the accidental takes on the appearance of structured manufacture. In this way, everyday industry is transformed by angles and proximity. There are not only new perspectives here, fresh images, new ways of depicting the perpetual edge of normalcy, but as with Jucan’s accompanying texts, a continual grappling with physicality, with bodies of words. The pieces are playfully or tragically titled, echoing the tantalizing hint in the texts of words as found objects, the property of all, as spontaneous utterances, while remaining utterly intimate.
As Jucan says: “It is harder to see than it is to express.” Like all great projects Cosmology of Worlds Apart is also entirely idiosyncratic; located firmly within traditions of philosophy and the avant-garde, while being simultaneously sui generis. Iona Jucan is her own woman.” –Anton Krueger
Ioana B. Jucan is an interdisciplinary performance-maker, cross-genre writer, and researcher whose work lies at the intersection of theatre and performance studies, philosophy, and new media. Her performance practice spans theatre directing, multimedia and devised performance, sound and installation art, and dramaturgy. Her work has been presented both in the United States and internationally. She is an alumna of the Watermill Summer Program under the artistic direction of Robert Wilson and has worked with Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players as dramaturg and intern. Her scholarly and creative writing has been featured in journals such as parallax, Liminalities, Nerve Lantern, Revista Caracteres, as well as in edited volumes such as Adorno and Performance (eds. Karoline Gritzner and Will Daddario; Palgrave 2014) and This and That: Essays on Live Art and Performance Studies (ed. Annette Arlander; University of the Arts Helsinki, 2014). Jucan holds a Masters in Philosophy from Brown University and has recently completed a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at Brown.
Links to online works