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Totems
series of sculptures made of various books
dimensions variable
2015

Totems are are made of various books which were used as sculptural material for building objects of veneration that express intimate relationships of love, hate, respect, scorn and awe between us the the written word. We see books as one of the strongest agents that shape our consciousness. We are trapped in the realm of texts that modify us constantly. Whatever is printed becomes "truth". Knowledge (and "truth") is a cognitive consensus based on sharing in the heritage of alphabetic literacy. Literacy is considered to be an indisputable sign of progress and a normative condition of existence within society. However, reading, as a physical process, induces linearity, reduction and abstraction. Being generated entirely in the left brain hemisphere, reading leads to analysis and hierarchy at the expense of losing simultaneity, synthesis and wholeness. By becoming literate, we, humans, paid a price by throwing away what had been a more balanced ratio among the senses. Reading makes us hypnotised by the alphabet and puts us under the spell of rationality. The world became "Newtonized" and we evolved into hypertrophied visual mammals living in a kind of estrangement from the world inside and around us. The mind knows mainly with its eyes and brain; knowing eventually became equated with seeing. Our capacity for cognitive depth has atrophied. And it is this experience of the world that is at the heart of our allienation and of our longing for something more. In an attempt to liberate ourselves from the dictatorship of the written word and from the hard wired obedience to the institution of "the book", we decided to disenchant the sacredness of books, to purify them with fire, to conjoin them with magic, to conjure them into a sort of protective objects. As an experiment of defiance, we transformed books into totemic objects, into emblems of a self-help ritual, of an exercise in biblioclasm. We call for an advance towards a post-literate world when reading and the eye will no longer remain virtually the exclusive means through which we obtain and process information. This libricidic gesture is aimed toward the return to a broader, more balanced cognitive capacity that will allow for a more ready acceptance of realities that are inefable and unseen.