artist’s novel

Alex Cecchetti
Tamam Shud

  • Tamam Shud, the artists novel written by Alex Cecchetti, is finally out in May 2018! Throughout an art project that spanned over two years, during which the writing process and the artistic process intertwined, feeding each other as they evolved, a narrative was created that altered the meaning of the artworks while at the same time dictating the contents of the artists novel.

    • Tamam Shud has emerged through a series of episodic performances and an exhibition featuring guided tours, seminars on poetry, synesthesia piano concerts, tarot readings, and dances on river stones. All of it sprinkled with mystery, humor, literary references, and biographical tidbits. As if the only way to understand death was through an inquiry into life, what arises when reading Tamam Shud is not the account of an individual life, but rather a reflection on the phenomenon of existence.

  • Tamam Shud is the post-mortem investigation of the victim into his own assassination. The only cluefound in a secret pocket sewn inside his trousersthat detectives have recovered is a fragile piece of paper torn from the pages of a book with the words Tamam Shud, “this is the end, written on it. Experts, antiquarians, and opium smokers have been consulted. These are the last two words in the Rubaiyat, an ancient collection of esoteric poems written by a Persian poet named Omar Khayyam.

    • The art project and the artists novel are linked together as much as the life of the victim is connected to the piece of paper found in his pocket. A work of fiction only exists at the moment of its reading, its text is necessarily actualized through the readers imagination. Now that Tamam Shud is published, the artist only asks for it to be read, and enjoyed.

  • I dreamt of a lake, and I knew there were fish inside, even if I saw none. She said jump, and her voice was that of a bird, and I knew she took lessons from parrots. An artists novel functions just like a dream, is inside and outside of itself, and is so rich of meta-narratives it looks like a vanilla mille-feuille.

    • The publication of Tamam Shud is occasioned by the project The Novel As Fantasy at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, 20162017, initiated and curated by The Book Lovers.

  • Graphic design of the publication by Jakub de Barbaro was awarded with the Polish Graphic Design Award and distincted in the competition The Most Beautiful Books 2018 organised by the Polish Association of Book Publishers.

  • Text in English

  • Format 120 x 188 mm, 288 pages

  • Soft cover

  • ISBN 978-3-95679-398-1

  • Published by Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art and Sternberg Press

  • Warsaw 2018

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