Alphabetum XIII

Artist: Mallarmé

For a select group of literature enthusiasts, ‘Le Livre’ has earned a cult status, while the general public mostly does not know of its existence. With ‘Le Livre’, Mallarmé wants to complete his life’s work. He wants to achieve something entirely new and gives the reader an active and decisive role to play as a receiver of the work. This discovery of a reimagined relationship between subject (the receiver) and object is almost as revolutionary as Einstein’s theory of relativity. Mallarmé is the first author to illustrate the crucial value of the receiver or reader of a work.

Only 61 years after his death, French literary scholar Jacques Scherer publishes Mallarmé’s notes on ‘Le Livre’. The collection comprises hundreds of pages of typographical translations and gives a clear image of what the poet envisioned: namely, a language project that goes beyond language and has a high level of ‘performativity’. It tries to bring text on paper pages to life and in this way, it questions the form of the book itself.

Did the poetic mystic Mallarmé succeed in passing over his new idea about the book as the ultimate cultural artefact? Can a greater audience than only several enthusiasts enjoy the preliminary sketches of what the poet set out to be the ‘book of all books’?

This project is the first museum exhibition of the work of Mallarmé in The Netherlands. It exists of prints of all facsimiles of ‘Le Livre’, a publication with contemporary discussions on ‘Le Livre’, the production of a new performance by Dutch writer and artist Emily Kocken, and a public programme that aims to highlight lingering questions around this work, as well as the role of the reader and viewer in the contemporary cultural field.

Until 25 June
Lange Voorhout 102


The Grey Space in the Middle
Sinarts Gallery
Galerie Maurits van de Laar
Museum Rijswijk
Museum Rijswijk
Galerie Ramakers
until 25 June

Alphabetum XIII

West Den Haag
Stroom Den Haag
until 02 July

Solo exhibition Chen Ruo Bing

until 09 July


Ghita Skali
until 16 July


Alexandre Lavet
Dürst Britt & Mayhew
WTC The Hague Art Gallery
West Den Haag
Biennale Noordwijk
West Den Haag