On collectors and revolutionaries. Ana Luisa Lima, 2012
“(…) an homme de lettres whose home was a library that had been set up with extreme care,
but in no way understood as a work instrument; it consisted of treasures whose value, as Benjamin often repeated, was
demonstrated by the fact that he had not read them (…) Like a revolutionary, the collector `dreams of his road not only to a remote or
past world, but also to a better world, people certainly are provided of what they need as in the daily world, but things are free the
humiliating work of usefulness` (Schriften, vol. I, p. 416). Collecting is the redemption things, that would
complete man`s redemption.”
Hannah Arendt on Walter Benjamin, in Men in dark times
I am sure that, all of us, my older brother was the one who knew how to live, early on, a richer life. While we ran to and fro behind a ball or in any other game that took the body to exhaustion, my brother was nestled in his room living all kinds of adventures. A born collector, his world was full of magazines on music and movies, an immense amount of LPs (and later CDs), videotapes (and later DVDs), dozens and dozens of teeny puppets (the ones I remember were playmobil and action commands), and an incredible ion of comic books.
In my childhood rushes (at the time, until 14 we were still real children), I never understood his predilection for quietness. Behind his green-blue eyes there were whole existences, of which we had access to very few. One day, with my curiosity of younger sister, I entered his room and came across an incredible world. On the shelves, he had created cinematic scenes with his puppets. Hanging seaming threads, the puppets floated, as if violently raised by the cotton bombs spilled war tanks.
A world apart, however, I learned leafing through his mangas. The delicate lines of those austere samurais intrigued my guts. I could never read those comics “as one should”. I never imposed myself a dedication to what was written there. My reading was entirely based on images. Back and forth, forth and back, I read my own stories within those stories.
The heiress of a whole library, Teresa found herself the owner of treasures. Books are not necessarily to be read, but appreciated in all their constitution. Thus, she allowed herself the liberality of undoing them their usefulness and to imprint them with the possibility of new ways of reading.
The book pages left their original bindings, but they keep the charm of their foldings. The colors on the pages are sometimes as velatura, or are new verbs of a very sophisticated visual syntax.
Teresa`s “Open Book” could be called the book of books, or yet, library. Because all the reading manners are suggested there, and every kind of contents may be glimpsed, as an invitation to a brazen reading, through which we are freed any grammatical or visual rule. There are no hierarchies among nouns and adjectives, color fields or lines. the end to the beginning, the middle to the end. In the way it was built, the book of books does not impose any type of imperious narrative, much to the contrary, there is even a desire that its happy users may read their stories within the stories.
Teresa raised signifiers their primary significations and generously reorganized them in way to return to the reader the act of original creation. At each dive, a new reading possibility. It is our breath that must define commas and a final point.
Collectors and revolutionaries, in their worlds of quietness, brought to me, my brother and Teresa, the rare taste of the un-apprehensible, which does not mean it is unreachable.