Bucharest AIR Project


The Lemon Emigrant

The Lemon Emigrant is a book compiled by two artists who worked out of their individual need to preserve and transmit knowledge as much as out of a shared interest in questioning the definition of books, of readers and of the mysterious processes that are the foundation of any kind of understanding and any kind of internalization of given data.

The Lemon Emigrant is an attempt at defining and visualizing the moment in which that, which is read, is being internalized and adopted by the reader in such a way, that not only words, but meanings, connotations and consequences are fully assimilated, until becoming an integral part of a person and an individuals live.

The Lemon Emigrant is a work about people and books and about the word, which in its most simple definition, is pure thought and intentional meaning, that comes out of one human being, transgressing various media, until finding a nesting ground in another human, whom it, in turn, transforms.

The Lemon Emigrant was written together by using and appropriating the words of others. The book has been composed by sending each other various ‘meanings’ in the form of short excerpts of texts, written by various writers of philosophy, art theory, poetry and prose. These texts date as far back as the 15th Century. The authors will remain anonymous so that the appropriation of their words is complete. As the only reference to the original text, a single page number is mentioned.

Upon receiving such a ‘meaning’, which in this context is the choice made by either of us for reading and sending a specific excerpt of text, we individually react to whatever we ourselves feel most necessary to react to, by sending the other a new piece of text, which reflects on and connects to the one previously received.

Through this mechanism, of which we have decided that it is and will be without end until it will end itself out of the same necessity out of which it sprung, a book is born. This book carries the thoughts of two individuals, who express these thoughts through others, through the mouths, words and practices of others, retaining however, the essence and urgency which is found in the processes that take place at the moment of an individuals private reading of meaning.

The Lemon Emigrant as a book is not meant to see print. The aim has been to follow the process of internalization to the very end, until the disappearance of the book and its content. In order to achieve this, we decided to employ the use of a third person, an actress, who has already memorized the content of the book in full. By doing so, she herself has become the embodiment of the book, while the information gathered lives and resides only in her mind. She is able to perform the content at any given moment.

This process of internalization is of linear descent. An important part of the project is the fact that after the original text has been committed to memory in full, it will also be, eventually, fully forgotten.

The forgetting of knowledge is essential in this work, as it is in knowledge itself. It is incorporated in the notion ‘word’, a volatile and fragile tool. Books, words, the printing press or contemporary Internet, could not exist with-out their existence being deeply rooted in the notion of their own inevitable disappearance.