The workplace/work and place of Alejandro Cesarco

I found a great image online but I can no longer locate my source. It is presumably a picture of the artist, Alejandro Cesarco’s desk/work area. Whatever the subject, it is extremely clean and ordered with one of Cesarco’s framed WHEN I AM HAPPY I WON’T HAVE TO MAKE THESE ANYMORE text pieces hanging on the wall to the left and above the desk. As is the case with Cesarco’s “when I am happy” pieces, the bold, multi-colored letters in all caps and justified to the left, attract attention and initiate humor. Which is a great way to set-up my exploration of this image, a glimpse into an artist I have come to adore for what he is putting out in the world and contributing to my life personally as I am getting to know his work and follow his career. There is also a framed snapshot of arranged toys by Felix Gonzales-Torres at the back of the desk leaning against the wall. Or perhaps it is an image of the original Gonzales-Torres snapshot. I don’t care if Felix Gonzales-Torres or someone related gifted Cesarco the actual photo or if it is a reproduction. What I treasure is the fact that Cesarco appreciates the image and its source and that he wants it in his environment. I assume Cesarco acquired the image I see framed here as a result of the stunning book, A Selection of Snapshots Taken by Felix Gonzales-Torres that Cesarco produced through A.R.T. Press in 2010.

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I feel fortunate to own that book and I visit it often. It is mostly pictures like the one of two cats curled together on top of a bed in which plastic toys (Fred Flintstone, Charlie Brown, Porky Pig and Tweety-Bird) are tucked in with their little heads peering out from under the covers and pressed against the bed’s two pillows. Some are paired with a shot of the back of the photo where a note has been written by Gonzales-Torres. The cat and toy photo includes a note that begins “slow morning. to count our blessings, our losses, our hopes …” and ends “… to a summer full of slow mornings.”

Along with other images, books and various objects on what I am assuming is Cesarco’s desk, there is a wooden box or styled block with the word SILENT printed across the top. I imagine it to be a box, a container that is either demanding silence while holding unrelated items such as paper clips and rubber bands or a container announcing its contents, proclaiming that this box holds silence. Who knows? Not knowing is of value here. It allows for exploration, assumptions and associations.

“Inadvertent memory” 

I also came across a Cabinet magazine from Summer 2010 with a beautiful piece by Cesarco that reconstitutes all passages in Cabinet’s 1st thru 37th issues including the word or idea of memory. The piece reads like a strange and lovely poem or story.


Inadvertent memory

Millions and millions of pixels, stored in memory, waiting in databases.

This memory of being recognized by the victim is quite common among soldiers; however, military statistics show that the bayonet is rarely used in war and that most of the killing in war is done from a distance where the killer remains anonymous.


The Center decided to keep the original gallery name, “Pavilion Veljkovic,” in memory of the family.

Who wouldn’t consider, however briefly, a Borgesian schema, that of a labyrinthine universal library (pace Alain Resnais’s documentary on the old Bibliotéque Nationale, “Toute la memoire du monde”—“all the memory of the world”), where each reader is lead through a surreptitious but efficacious rhetoric to his or her own utopia?

During fieldwork in 1989, one Inuk elder told me that he had drawn detailed maps of Hiquiligjuaq from memory, …

Of course it goes on, beautifully spread across six pages and, given the current glut of information available to most of us, these excerpts feel like enough, like everything, “Toute la memoire du monde”—“all the memory of the world.” They allow for exploration, assumptions and associations. They allow for imagination.

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