Work on Paper
Impression with coal powder (toner) on paper, plexiglass
15.0 x 21.0 (cm)
5.9 x 8.3 (inch)The piece is composed of pages from George Orwell’s book 1984 printed with black toner on wet sheets of paper, being then immersed in the water: the letters come off the paper one by one, distorting the text and making it impossible to read.
The disintegration of the text directly refers to the famous dystopian novel’s central themes— censorship and surveillance—as well as to its main character, Winston Smith, who is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism within the Ministry of Truth. His task consists in rewriting records and altering photographs before incinerating the original documents in a “memory hole”.
The title Palimpsesto [palimpsest] has both a literary and a psychological meaning, as it refers to the superimposition of various texts on the same sheet of paper, and also to the mental mechanism that makes new memories replace the old ones.