Author: Xisco Mensua
Indian ink on paper.
32 drawings 46 x 61 cm each.
Includes 32 drawings copied from photographs and pages from books. Based on the idea of Walter Benjamin of writing a book based exclusively on quotes, Mensua develops this polyptych by regathering images that are serialised and divided into groups. Each group consists of four drawings, the first of which is a copy of an open book with quotes by Unamuno, Nietzche, Benjamin, Beckett, Pasolini and Artraud, and which introduces the following three images.
The pages of the books suggest a poetic interpretation and a speculative nature, whereas the images, as historical documents, refer to topics such as authority, war, madness, attention and investigation.
These drawings form part of a collection of images of people that are shown to be busy observing documents or paying attention to events taking place around them and in which they seem to be involved. The drawings also describe the places of events associated with the production of knowledge, such as classrooms and libraries.
The title of this piece is taken from a novel of the same name by Franz Kafka. This piece, which has a particular bearing on the idea of learning, focuses on images of children reading, wearing a uniform, playing at break time; some are building skeletons and others are looking at works of art. In this sense, the work becomes an ironic view of the acquisition of knowledge and development of learning.