Bustrofedon’s book
César Forero

07.11.12 29.11.12

The Bustrofedon Book (by Alicia Candiani)

The Bustrofedon Book was produced entirely by the Colombian-Canadian artist César Forero during his residence in ´ace that took place during October-November of 2012.

This monumental artist’s book is made up of 16 scrolls with transparent fabrics over 6 meters long, each of which -installed in the Polyglot Hall- constitutes an allegory against the killing of animals, whether they are killed for commercialization or entertainment as it occurs during cockfights or dogfights, that are still common in Latin America.

Bustrofedon (in Greek: βουστροφηδόν) designates a type of writing that consists of drafting alternately one line from left to right and the following from right to left. It appears in numerous archaic inscriptions, including Greek ones. The voice comes βου (bou): ‘ox’, στροφή (strofée): ‘turn’ or ‘turn’ and στρέφειν (stréfein): ‘turn around’, in such a way that the composition of the term refers to the similarity of this way of writing with the trajectory formed in the farmland with the plow drawn by oxen.

This ancient way of writing is popularly known as snake writing, drawing attention to the visual similarity it has with the ancient Hindu game Moksha-patamu, spread in the West as the game of Serpents and Ladders. In its original version this game raises ethical values, since it symbolizes the moral journey throughout a lifetime, until reaching heaven. The stairs represent virtuous acts that shorten the journey of the soul until reaching a state of ultimate perfection. Snakes are, on the contrary, the representation of human evil, and condemn us to reincarnations in lower forms, represented by silhouettes of different animals.

Forero’s work is imbued with both concepts, the idea that the fabrics can be read as bustrophedon (accentuating the effect of the transparencies between them) and also of the struggle between the forces of good and evil in their sometimes spiral compositions that explode along these canvases / paths / snakes showing us -like an oxymoron- beauty, discovering the harshness in the background and finally reflecting on the attitude of humanity in relation to nature.

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Buenos Aires
45' to 60' trip

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38, 39, 41, 42, 59, 63, 65, 67, 68, 151, 152, 161, 184, 194 and 168 (stop in the front door)


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Colegiales Station (1 block, 1')

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Buenos Aires is Argentine Republic's capital city. With 15,000,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in Latin America and one of the 10 most populous urban centers in the world. Its cosmopolitan and urban character vibrates to the rhythm of a great cultural offer that includes monuments, churches, museums, art galleries, opera, music and theaters; squares, parks and gardens with old groves; characteristic neighborhoods; large shopping centers and fairs. Here we also find a very good lodging facilities, with accommodation ranging from hostels to five-star hotels of the main international chains. Buenos Aires also show off about its variety of restaurants with all the cuisines of the world, as well as to have cafes and flower kiosks on every corner.

A neighborhood founded on the Jesuit farms in the 17th century

We are located in Colegiales neighborhood where the tree-lined streets, some of which still have their original cobblestones, invite you to walk. Although the apartment buildings advance, low houses still predominate. It is a district of the city where about 20 TV production companies, design studios, artist workshops and the Rock&Pop radio have been located. The neighborhood also has six squares, one of which pays homage to Mafalda, the Flea Market, shops, restaurants and cafes like its neighboring Barrios de Palermo and Belgrano, with which it limits.

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