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Project
Introduction

The Book to Come is a project developed by Bulegoa z/b in collaboration with book designer Filiep Tacq between 2015 and 2017. It is based on five books by Marcel Broodthaers, which the artist conceived as autonomous artworks, and aims to explore the book as a living entity. A book is made up of printed sheets of paper bound into a volume, and is a stable object, not inert matter; something living, a place for producing lived experience. It holds spaces, times and movements waiting to be activated.

The five books the project takes as its starting point are: Pense-Bête (1963–1964), Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard (1969), MTL (1970–1972), Un voyage on mer du nord (1973) L’Angelus de Daumier (1975). Each of these touch on aspects of books, such as how they relate to other art forms (sculpture, poetry, exhibitions, film, painting) or the production processes involved in making them (technical, material, institutional, negotiation with others).

The title of the project alludes to a chain of citation. The Book to Come takes its name from a book by Maurice Blanchot from 1959, Le Livre à venir, which revolves around another book by Stéphane Mallarmé, Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard (1914). Broodthaers responded to Mallarmé in 1969 with a work by the same title. Jacques Derrida, in his 1997 lecture The Book to Come proposed we consider the future of the printed object at a time when technological developments were announcing profound changes in our ways of reading and writing.

Decades later these changes are fully underway, and the project The Book to Come aims to explore the performativity of books. Some of the issues that are considered are the relationship between reading and writing, image and text, matter and the immaterial, the living and the inert. The idea of the future, that the project refers to, is also questioned: any book is by nature a stable object, perpetually awaited, perpetually awaiting; always to come.

The Book to Come started in Bulegoa z/b with an eight-session reading group. Sessions took place once a month from April 2015 to January 2016, and were proposed by different guests whose readings relate to the book as a specific medium for artistic practice. Subsequently, the participants of the reading group proposed a series of sessions. In addition to his, the CAC Reading Room organised a parallel reading group and Playground in Leuven hosted a public talk with Filiep Tacq and Pedro G. Romero with a response in dance by bailaor Israel Galván.