Dadaist Tristan Tzara devised a method to create poems by pulling words out of a hat. Applying this method, Theo Prodromidis “wrote” a book of 108 pages, with 524 sentences, composed of words taken at randomly from 524 different books and magazines, which were sent to him on a general call for printed matter that had to be relevant and
important for the political discourse of the left.
Books included seminal texts like Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (1867), Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) as well as more contemporary texts like Alain Badiou’s The
Communist Hypothesis (2008). The content of the book was put together during two eight hour performances at Kunsthalle Athena in 2011, carried out by Prodromidis together with the actress Angeliki Papoulia. The duration of the performance determined the print run of the book: 16 copies.
The performance and the resulting book present a method to formulate a re-reading as well as a critique of political language and seminal leftist
discourse and to deal in a playful way with formal, social and historical issues. Element for the support of new structures is a bronze wall sculpture, serving as a kind of bookshelf for the 16 hand-bound books.
The viewer may take a book from the sculpture to leaf through it, and by placing it back somewhere else, the composition of the books in the supporting structure will be changed. The two works together form a synoptic collage on the potpourri of political analyses since Marx, here presented as sound bites, whose relevance we are asked to question today.
curator of Between the Pessimism of Intellect and the Optimism of the Will, 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
June – September 2015
text for the exhibition catalogue