David Maroto


Book, 13 x 20 cm, 222 p, language: Spanish, publisher: CreateSpace, ISBN:13: 978-1456599225, 10: 1456599224.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2024/862).

Literary synopsis

Tarot Arcane VI, The Lover, depicts a young man lost in indecision between two options. His eyes point to a woman, whilst his arms are directed towards another. Even his clothes, a multicolored doublet, reflect his state of internal division. The protagonist of Illusion is also immersed in a process of progressive fragmentation, leading to an unpredictable end. The narrator tells a story that happened to him time ago, when he was in his twenties, in which he goes through a series of experiences that he, at that moment, was not in conditions to understand. It is only in retrospective that he is able to give account of it. In Illusion, characters are not aware of their being constantly changing and redefining in relation to their environment and the others. This alienating nature goes to an extreme with the protagonist, who is always in the need of a model to imitate. The problem is that, the closer he is of that model, the more he enters in competition with it in order to attain the object of their desires.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

To make Illusion, Maroto departed from preexisting narrative works of his own production, such as sound pieces, video animations, leporellos, installations... He then removed their sound and visual components, so that eventually it resulted in a collection of loose narrative texts, which he took as the basic materials to write Illusion. All these pieces were integrated wihtin the text of Illusion, which became in this way a sort of patchwork of different, unconnected art pieces whose seams might not be obvious at first sight. Conversely, as the writing of Illusion progressed, it gave way to new, autonomous projects. The reader of Illusion has two options. She can read it as a regular novel, with a storyline, characters, and so on. But there is also the option to get an expanded reading experience, by relating each passage to each particular work from where it comes. Those works are, in turn, also made of fragments of images and sounds, which refer to other pictures, texts and so on. Illusion thus functions as the axis of a constellation of narrative works that ultimately refer their meaning to it. The project does not end with the publication of the book. A new dimension begins with it, because the meaning of a novel is to be read. It only exists in the here and now when someone is reading it. This simple performative act, that of reading, is the basis of a number of art projects that develop around the book, such as the Illusion Reading Room (11th Havana Biennial, 2012) and the Illusion Buzzword Bingo (Artium Museum, Spain, 2012).

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