Article Number: 6743
Soft Cover, English, Thread Stitching, 150 Pages, 2014, multiplos
Antonio Gagliano

El espíritu del siglo XX / The Spirit of the 20th Century

€ 22.00

The origins of this book lie in a waterlogged landscape out of which looms the library of an artist (Pepe Espaliú, 1955-1993) deposited in a public institution (Arteleku, Donostia-San Sebastián) that suffered a series of physical and ideological deluges, including the overflowing of a nearby river intent on bursting its banks and flooding the memory of the place.

Submerged at the heart of this scene lie two boxes crammed with handwritten pages and printed materials not unlike the “disturbing watery images on the sepia-coloured paper” and the “puddles of urine” that Valentín Roma evokes in his text of this publication. The constellation of documents was found in the mid-nineties inserted amid the pages of the books in Espaliu’s personal library –which the artist had donated to Arteleku shortly before his death-, and removed from the volumes during the library’s unceremonious conversion from private body to public heritage.

In any case, neither the artist, nor the institution, nor the library and its margins are the protagonists of this book. Rather, it is the twentieth century, a monumental spectre that has ended up casting its elongated shadow over the entire narrative. The 106 drawings that recount The Spirit of the 20th Century are copies based on a selection of these shipwrecked documents, which were then organised around a series of latent questions to do with limits of authorship, the points of contact between viral phenomena in the fields of illness and culture, and the supposed exhaustion of the archive. However, rather than creating barriers of a different nature we have turned to the handmade, mimetic copy as a legal strategy that can speed up their circulation. The idea is to set a galaxy on paper free: to engulf the babbling that controls the multiple life of memory, its infinite forks, its free distribution.

Language: English / Spanish