Biblioteca para Lomo-Lectores (Library for Spine-Readers)
Shmorévaz, Paris, France
March 16-24, 2023
Imagined around glasses of rum at a kitchen table in Havana by a group of 4 artists, writers, and friends (Lester Álvarez Meno, Kevin Ávila, Roman Gutiérrez Aragoneses and Santiago Díaz M), Biblioteca para lomo-lectxres / Library for spine readers is a collective exercise to overturn the frustration around censorship in Cuba. Referring to the “lomo” – the spine of the book on which the title is written – it borrows its name from a fictional character invented by author Héctor Zumbado (1932-2016): the lomo-lector, a symptom, and epitome of a fast-paced modern era where browsing gestures have replaced informational density. But in a context of explicit State surveillance, the potential of the lomo is also one of dissimulation: regardless of the content, a book is firstly what it pretends to be by its cover. Following and reversing that idea, Biblioteca para-lomo lectxres is an ironic library carrying the titles of books that could never exist without being banned. With the original aim of attacking political correctness, it works with choteo, a specific type of Cuban humor using sarcasm as a means to subvert a higher authority and its emblems. It is also a rehearsal in hospitalities, each iteration (Havana, Geneva, New York) adding new spines to its shelves by involving different participants and members of the Cuban diaspora. For this edition, artist Lester Álvarez Meno welcomes visitors of Shmorévaz to compose, design and place imaginary book titles – assembling intercultural stories in a piece of fictional furniture.
Biblioteca para-lomo lectxres also inaugurates Shmorévaz becoming a bookshop of independent publications.
Daniela Fernández Rodríguez and Salomé Burstein