One thousand and two nights

One thousand and two nights results from an intense, extensive and collaborative research on how the topic of the night is expressed in books of different genres and authors, with privilege for poetry, novels, short narratives, essays and hybrid texts.

When evoking the classic One Thousand and One Nights, we emphasize, on the one hand, the night as the place where survival is achieved through storytelling – at least until the following morning – and, on the other hand, by proposing the image of a thousandth second night, we tried to think about literature as an expanded ability to tell, listen and interact with space and time.

In dialogue with the curatorial proposal, the night is investigated in three dimensions. One of them would be the symbolic, which includes twilight, darkness, sleep, and dream; another dimension would be the allegorical one, such as the political night or the historical night; and the third looks at the night from a narrative perspective, that is, how a non-transparent writing style or an unknown language seems to throw the reader into a certain darkness of meanings.

The proposal takes the form of Paginário, a project that, through its double dimension – visual work, if seen from afar, and textual work, when appreciated up close –, invites us to approach literature in a material, manual and interactive way. Paginário juxtaposes differences and results in readings that establish continuity or noise due to their unforeseen connections.

One thousand and two nights consists of photocopying 1,002 pages of books with excerpts about the night distributed in several murals. The larger mural, with 253+1 sheets, will be installed at Casa Municipal da Cultura de Coimbra, and the remaining smaller murals, with 107 sheets each, will be spread throughout the city of Coimbra, according to the permissions granted by the city council. Murals are accompanied by markers as an invitation to visiting readers or passers-by for engaging in face-to-face reading and highlighting their favorite passages from the excerpts.

This installation is part of the convergent programme of Anozero 21-22, Coimbra Contemporary Art Biennial (09-04-2022 to 26-06-2022).

Authors: Elizama Almeida, Elena Soressi and Mafalda Lalanda, in collaboration with the project “Paginário” by Leonardo Villa-Forte (PUC-Rio).

Elena Soressi

Mafalda Lalanda

Elizama Almeida

30 April to 26 June 2022

Biblioteca Municipal da Cultura (Coimbra)
Escola Secundária Jaime Cortesão (Coimbra)


Categories: Exhibitions
Tags: dissemination materialities of literature