at Il Circolo dei Lettori - Torino

16 original drawings by the author

Exhibit layout by
Luca Volpatti

La Milanesiana
Created and directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi
XI edizione - 2010

Mostra realizzata grazie alla collaborazione della

The exhibit proposes a selection of drawings by the writer – winner of Goncourt Prize - Tahar Ben Jelloun. His are abstract drawings, indebted to the refined art of oriental decoration in which the strokes themselves become writing, an “other”, more deeply anchored in the powers of improvisation and at one with the knowledge of the ancient miniaturists.
And, in fact, some of Tahar’s panels call to mind the windows of sacred buildings, or at least the idea of the sacred, which he, as a secular artist, cultivates.
But Tahar does not renounce true writing. Instead, in his works we find an explicit connection between the word and the drawing. And the words, once again, refer to paradox, to contradiction. Particularly when it comes to identity. “The ‘I’ comes from the other side of the mirror. It travels through Abyssinia in the company of a multitude of ‘I’s who no longer know where they come from nor in whose body they find themselves. Only in poetry can they practice paradoxes.”
As comments to the drawings some aphorisms: “Time is the flood that we invent to make insomnia fascinating / grace makes it wait / it is never given / it is never bought / though many people put it on the market”.
His drawings are like oases, emotional pauses before and after the immersion in the “immense building site” of life and thought, where “every man is uncertain”, and fear renders us “human, too human”.