Who is the last reader? The title of the exhibition poses an open question. Is it Roland Barthes’s silent, solitary reader, taking pleasure from reading in his/her meditative interiority? Is it Johannes Dahlmann, the character in Borges’s ‘The South’? Is it the public reader/performer, who as an actor, orator and activist deconstructs, ‘betrays’, re-constructs, and re-writes the text? James Joyce’s horizontal readers’ communities? Is it ‘a soldier [who] dreams of white lilies’, in Mahmoud Darwish’s poem? Is it speakers of other languages and expatriated, the Strangers of reading?
The act of reading as image, emotion, performative experience and rehearsal, as a collective/participatory process, or alternative activism, is a constant negotiation between the fictional and the real. An area in which, par excellence, new forms of subjectivity and new collectivities emerge.