Mariela Limerutti Visual Artist, Argentina.


RIVER OF BOOKS
18 May 2012 - International Day of Museums
Birthplace of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (known as "the Teacher of America")
+ INFO
RIVER OF BOOKS

Books of different formats, sizes, oldness, origin, color, author and publishing were the only material used for this work installed at the fašade of D. F. Sarmiento's birthplace. They were installed on the floor, opened, one together with other one over a space of 3 meters width and 30 meters length. No other extra material was used (glue, nail, etc).

The above mentioned books came from donations of diverse private and public institutions, also from individuals. The destinations of books were homes of people visiting the installation's place, who could take any book of their own choice.

The intention of the work was to bring the museum to the street, to confront the regular spectator and the random people passing by; relating them to the birthplace of D.F. Sarmiento without entering the building. Thereby, without turning their way, people could stop to perceive the installation involving much more than a visual issue. It was an art work to observe, cross, read, touch and smell, and also to take for oneself and to bring with.

The element book involved diverse readings. First, this ephemeral intervention was about the date in which it appeared: "The International Day of Museums". Between the diverse places where usually live books; the museums are one. This House-Museum contains the complete collection of books written by D. F. Sarmiento, an amazing amount of 57 volumes. Having seen them, it is unavoidable to admit that they exceed the possibility of life time of a common mortal person to write them; without thinking about the value of the conceptual content they have. That┤s why, that books appear here as visual objects opened for their reading, but with an accent in the physical extension that they cover more than in the content of them.

Another reading of the work is the unmistakable relation between D. F. Sarmiento and the books. He said that he was what he was, due to the fact that he had could read from very child. Thus, his ideology and his life were marked by the education through books. The meaning of the written language in his time is not the same as today, because of that, the book is having here in value as a pertinent object to his life, his work and his epoch.

In addition, it is important to emphasize the mobility generated with this art work, which exceeds the limits of an artistic installation with a passive public. There is a participative action in provoking the transfer of books from diverse origins to many destinations. The "performer books" were objects rescued of sites where they were in disuse. People were taking the books to read them in their homes, or at the site of the installation. The work tried not only to provoke only the reading of the texts, but also to be able to observe the books in their site, in the space that they occupy, in their colors and in the textures of the printed typographies.