Tuesday, 6 May 2008


The shortest short story ever written,...

Patrizio Di Massimo, Justin Gainan and Steve van den Bosch

1 May 2008 - 1 June 2008

Opening Night: 1 May, 6-9 p.m with a performance conceived by Patrizio Di Massimo

Open: Friday-Sunday, 12-6p.m.

When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there

(Augusto Monterroso, 1959)

He awoke. That's the first given element. He awoke from being asleep, we suppose. A long sleep or a short sleep, a night's sleep or a day's sleep? This we cannot tell.
Anyway, he awoke. Where? It is not clear: in his room, in a remote corner of the earth, in a space one would expect to share with a dinosaur, or none of these places. It could be in another time or on another planet. We do not have this information.

The dinosaur is still there, is the other given element to our story. We can't say why the animal is sharing a space with the man, how it got there and what will happen when they will eventually acknowledge their reciprocal presence.

If we think about it, we can't even be sure of their physical proximity. There is no real given clue that the two protagonists are concretely one next to the other. We could be facing a case of a witty intervention concocted by the author, a parallelism between two separate events created by the writer who possibly never considered proximity. Maybe he simply suggested that the two characters existed somehow and somewhere simultaneously.

We can't even imagine what had happened before, what would be the relationship between the two protagonists; if there is one. And if there was, which event brought them together?

The only certainties in the content given are 'time' and 'existence'. They are both somewhere and they both 'are', once he awoke. But claiming more than this would be pure supposition. From here onwards, to complete the story, putting together the pieces and drawing a meaningful shape, is our main challenge. It seems clear that the few words about the two characters of the story, the man and the dinosaur, disclose a third and more fundamental one: The reader. A reader that carries expectations, desires and impulses. The short story plays with these necessities, scattering them onto the table and asking to build them up again, to guess, to enjoy this freedom. In this position we have the opportunity to feel our fragile nature of 'thinking bodies'.

The story turns into a creative reaction of the reader's mind: Could it be us that made the dinosaur share a space with the awakened man?

(under the arch off Mare Street)
347 Beck Road
E8 4RE

To know more on how to support Patrizio Di Massimo's performance please see

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