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käme ein Mensch,

käme ein Mensch zur Welt, heute, mit

dem Lichtbart der

Patriarchen: er dürfte

spräch er von dieser

Zeit, er


nur lallen und lallen,

immer-, immer



("Pallaksch. Pallaksch.”)


Paul Celan


S’il venait,
venait un homme,
venait un homme au monde, aujourd’hui, avec
la barbe de clarté
des patriarches : il devrait
s’il parlait de ce
temps, il
devrait bégayer seulement, bégayer,


("Pallaksch. Pallaksch.")


Paul Celan (traduction de  Martine Broda)



should a man,

should a man come into the world, today, with

the shining beard of the

patriarchs: he could,

if he spoke of this

time, he


only babble and babble

over, over



(“Pallaksck. Pallaksch.”)


Paul Celan (translated by Michael Hamburger)



viesse um homem

viesse um homem ao mundo, hoje, com

a barba de luz dos

Patriarcas: ele poderia

se falasse ele deste

tempo, ele


apenas gaguejar e gaguejar

sempre –, sempre –,



(”Pallaksch. Pallaksch.”)


Paul Celan (tradução L. Danziger)

Pallaksch Pallaksch [2010] detalhe



The incomprehensible word that closes the poem "Tübingen, January", by Paul Celan, is attributed to Hölderlin - who invented it in his years of isolation in a tower on the banks of the river Neckar - and could mean yes or no. Distant from the speedy of the language of our means of communication, the poem suggests that this extenuated speech, hesitant and at the same time rigorous, for it was born from the attempt to be faithful to the experience of its time, is the just form – not exactly the true one, but just – when trying to talk about the present. Duplicated, as it appears in Celan’s poem, the word pallaksch seems to me like a title appropriate for an installation that emerges from repetitive gestures and that want to grant some meaning to the ruins of this current talk that are the newspapers (just released and already obsolete).


The installation emphasizes the spatial aspects of the residues produced from the process of erasing and reediting printed newspapers. I show here another side of the series Public Diaries (Diários públicos), in production since 2002, in which I aim to reverse a certain linear and homogeneous vision of time. I understand what I do as a modality of corrosive, extractive reading, experienced in its maximum materiality. (To read with the entire body. A contemplative and at the same time distracted reading.)


For a long I observe the information taken from the newspapers being transformed into a dense tangle of strips and I suspect that, in its accumulation, something of the true form of journalistic language is revealed. And if there is any meaning in asking oneself for a possible ‘essence’ of the newspaper (in the same sense that Barthes asks “what is the essence of pants (if there is one)?”), certainly this essence isn’t in the untouched newspaper, given to the reader in the first hours of the day, but in the pile of discarded, crumpled, consumed newspapers destined for other forms of use, due to the quality of their cheap paper and, more than anything, the accelerated aging of the information. What is the fate of the newspapers when, so quickly, they stop being new? What potency do they hold? How can we hear the murmur (and the hopes) of the debris?


My attention throughout the working process was thus unfolded between the selective erasing of the newspapers – which produces emptied, although intact pages –; and the observation of the new form of information extracted by the adhesive tape. It’s necessary to not just to see, but to hear the residues (the strips rub against each other, they rustle and grind). Visual and sound records are attempts at perceiving nuances, contours, limits and, in this way, install a certain reflective distance between me and the murmur of information that continuously surrounds me.



Leila Danziger

Rio de Janeiro, 2007/ 2010

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