Bookshelves can be organized using many different systems and preferences. In a bookshelf a book could have a fat “neighbor” telling maybe a love story and a tall one that talks about how beautiful is the sea. Certainly there is a lot going on inside any bookshelf and I am sure that in any of them live perfectly together differences and contradictions coexist in a very peaceful way. I love to think that we are nothing but books that have been written by many different people, in may different places but if we are books what are books then? I know this question can’t be properly answered using words and we all know that the “real” books are still unwritten and will remain unwritten forever. A book is a box, a sort of folded drawer, books are the first object ever that were genuinely designed to be stored and classified; there are books permanently closed in a profound state of unconsciousness, in a sort of coma. To read a single book in a whole life is OK, I’ll suggest reading three to five books and I am sure you’ll have enough material to combine. But material to be combined with what? It is only with life that a book should be combined with.
What is the relation between these five books?
1 – “Manual del Tractorista”. V. Anojin y A. Sájarov, 1970. Pueblo y Educación, La Habana.
2 – “P.E. Guerin, Inc. Manufacter of Period Hardware”. And all forms of art metal work, 1914. NY.
3 – “John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917 – 1963″. Urs Schwarz, 1964. Frankfurt.
4 – “American Case of Furniture”. Gerald W.R. Ward, 1988. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.
5 – “Girón: Una estocada a fondo”. 1976, Empresa de Medios de Propaganda, La Habana.
These five titles are the ones involved in “Manual del Tractorista Arrepentido”. Five titles that could have many ways to be connected to each other but what interested me the most about working with them wasn’t the idea of constructing any fictional nor veritable relation in-between them but the idea of opening, transforming and displaying these books in a way that no one ever thought about when they were written, designed, printed or read. Any of the “truths” printed in these five books has been transformed into a subjective matter, these five books are not in a coma any longer, now they are open and they have became something other than a book.
Diango Hernández, NY April 2009