Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona pays tribute to the writer Roberto Bolaño

The Bolaño Archive in the CCCB
Barcelona - APR 16, 2013

The Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona offers until June 30th an exhibition in honor of the writer Roberto Bolaño (Santiago de Chile 1953-Barcelona 2003), a decade after his death. This author developed his work between the old and the new continent, residing in Spain during an important part of his life. Bolaño’s work creates a unique cosmology explorable in this show, curated by Juan Insua and Valerie Miles

This exhibit, like the majority that take place in this cultural centre, uses the scenography in order to create a very special atmosphere, taking us into other worlds, surrounded by writings and books focused by low lights at all times accompanied by haunting music. This way we explore the creative world of the author in tree blocks, concerning three stages of his life, Barcelona, Gerona and Blanes. Preceded by a prologue in reference to his stay in Mexico and completed by an epilogue where we see his influence in 21st century literature. The scenography achieves its purpose, to see the artist in his natural habitat, in his workshop, with his notes, his cosmos. 

The Bolaño Archive in the CCCB
View of the exhibition in the CCCB

Although the writer’s nomadism prevents from seeing him in an specified location, we can appreciate all his materials like a long dissection, in which the middle aged reader will surely be identified, Either by the editions of science fiction books of the eighties (which he was a fan of) collections of authors such as Isaac AsimovRay BradburyH.P. Lovecraft. Or also by the books of authors like Borges or James Joyce which he admired, without neglecting the strategy games that he liked to play. All of these materials have been donated by the heirs of the writer, shown in an unprecedented way. After seeing the exhibition, we have this nice feeling of having, for a moment, been in the artist's creative entity, in his workshop, in his study. A place reserved that tells us what the person that works is like: A vanguard writer decided to break with the established. 

The route of the exhibition is guided by projected verses, reflections or small drawings that show his character. Small delights that will do not leave the viewer indifferent. An exhibition to be read and comprehend the author’s literature. Entering the core of Bolaño to see it in his context, a fact that invites you to read it. Luckily, and for the more enthusiastic, in the store of the CCCB we can find his complete works.

“Bolaño Archive. 1977- 2003”, CCCB. Barcelona, Spain


Joan Vila i Boix 

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