The Order Book (thin air road for Dorothy)
The Order Book (thin air road for Dorothy) focuses on the malleability of language and on the modes of construction of stories/history. In this book, each page contains a word. The order of those words suggests a story. All the words are actual names of existing banks.
Order books are used by businesses to record interactions with costumers or suppliers, thus generating a sense of history. The second part of the title of this work refers to the main character of the book The Wizard Of Oz, written by Frank L. Baum in 1900. The fairy tale is known for hiding an allegorical critique of the political and economic configuration of the end of the 19th century in the United States. Baum imagined a moment of radical change in the form of a tornado (elections) that would lead Dorothy (everyman) to a journey following a yellow brick road (the author claimed for the US economy to get back to the 'gold standard'). During that journey, Dorothy joins a scarecrow (farmers), a tin-man (factory workers) and a fearful lion (politicians) heading towards emerald city (Washington) in order to ask the supposedly powerful wizard (the president) for a balanced future.
In The Order Book (Thin Air Road For Dorothy) I borrow Baum's strategy: that of using a road trip-like narrative as an excuse to imply socio-political connotations.
These are some of the 50 words (names of existing banks) used in this work:
THE ORDER BOOK (THIN AIR ROAD FOR DOROTHY) (2012)
Handwritten order book.
21 X 14 cm,
Exhibition view ABRIDGED,
South African National Gallery. Cape Town. 2012.