Paco Cao
From May 10th to June 29th 2024

«Libro muerto»

Llamazares Gallery presents the exhibition “Libro Muerto,” by Paco Cao, which consists of a photographic composition in medium format, two large-format photographs, a text in vinyl, and an 8:01-minute video. The layout design, in line with the criteria that the artist applies to his museum projects, introduces color with a scenographic sense.

Produced by the Galleria Nazionale of Rome in collaboration with the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia −a building financed by Pope Julius III−, the project starts from a private performance taking place in the latter space, where the garden of the nymphs stands out, inaccessible to the public and used exceptionally to carry out the work “Dead Book.” The performance, in which a book is sentenced to death, then shredded with a mechanical saw, and subsequently buried while a prayer is read in its memory, is filmed and photographed in order to create an exhibition with the described materials.

The cut book, edited in 2009 by MV Editions, is titled “The Museum of the Victim” (by Paco Cao) and consists of a volume of three hundred empty pages; a novel to be written.

“Dead Book,” contrary to what may seem, does not constitute an explicit denunciation of censorship; rather, it constitutes a reflection on the book as a fetish in dialectical relation with violence in general and with the nature it serves to be produced from.

As a precedent for this work, the artist carries out a similar action, albeit documented only through photographic support, with the book “The Homosexual in America” (Donald Wester Cory, 1951) in the library of the Andrew Freedam Home in New York, as part of the 2016 Bronx Latin American Art Triennial. This work is part of the permanent collection of the Galleria Nazionale of Rome since 2021.

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