Perhaps Her Name iS BauBo (IN PROGRESS)

I’ll write to you. A super long letter, like in an old fashioned novel
— Haruki Murakami, After Dark
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New-media, site-specific novel. Biblioteca Jose Vasconcelos, CDMX.

This project consists of a series of 43 letters hidden in 43 different books throughout Mexico City’s spectacular Jose Vasconcelos Library. Written by an elderly American who has lived her entire adult life in Mexico City, the letters are addressed to her late husband, a former archivist for Mexico’s notorious Directorate of Federal Security. They are written over the course of 2014-2015, when the forced disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa sent shockwaves across Mexico. Moved by the story of the missing students, the narrator unearths the notes for an unfinished manuscript that her husband left behind. She begins visiting the Jose Vasconcelos library where she tracks down each of the books referenced within her husband’s notes and attempts to piece together her husband’s unwritten book.  In each of the books, she leaves a letter addressed to her husband. In her letters, the narrator speculates on how each book fits into the unfinished puzzle of her husband’s manuscript, reflects upon the tumultuous history of their marriage, and ultimately confronts her long held suspicions about her husband’s involvement (and her own complicity) in Mexico’s Dirty War during the 1970s. The story is a meditation on guilt, memory, disappearance, State violence, the history and philosophy of the written word and the epistemic violence of the archive and library. It’s a sprawling story that wanders the streets of Cambridge, Paris and Mexico City and weaves between the pages of Herodotus, Borges, Octavio Paz and many others in between. Written in the voice of a woman, the novel invites readers to question the gaping absences that fill our libraries--the stories and voices of all those who have been left out of the lettered History of the West.

The idea for this project was develped during my residency with Blast Theory in October 2017.