Yiyi's Books

july 05, 2013.

"... een kunstwerk met boeken kemaakt,
maar de hele werk is ingestort..."

Yiyi de la Mota is an Argentinian artist who is living and working in my hometown Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been doing so for almost two decades now, but I only met Yiyi seven years ago, at the 2006 Kunsttour in Maastricht, while disentangling and cataloguing tape debris for my Found Tapes Exhibition at Intro in situ in the Capucijnengang.

For a day job, she works at Kringloopcentrum Zuid, a municipal thrift store/charity shop in an industrial area in the south of Maastricht. As in most thrift stores, there's an awful lot of old books to be had there.

"When I started working at Kringloop Zuid," Yiyi says ( * ), "my boss asked me if I would like to use the books to make an art work. And of course I wanted to do that. I thought about, planned it, and then I worked on its realization for two months. It was finished last Wednesday, July 3rd."

She called it Hola, a very pretty and very joyful image sculpted in books.

This is what Yiyi's Hola looked like last Wednesday at the Maastricht thrift store. (For a larger view, click the image.)


Yiyi's Hola brought a really big smile on my face, when I found its photographed image in my mailbox early Wednesday evening.

It still does, every time I look at it.

But this is how she found Hola back the next morning... (Click the image for a larger view)


"Shortly after I had left the thrift store on Wednesday evening, Hola collapsed. Everything fell down, into one big heap on the floor," Yiyi says. "There was little else I could do but clean up the mess. I first thought that the collapse must have been caused by the humidity, but in fact it all came down because one of the clamps ('sergeant') that held the frame together got unscrewed, and the wood got displaced. But how this could have happened... God only knows..."

It is very understandable that Yiyi is desperate about what happened. A presentation of Hola was planned for next Wednesday July 10th at noon, at the Kringloopcentrum. It had taken her two months to arrange all these books to make it, and it is highly unlikely that she would manage to re-install them all in just a couple of days.

But of course she should not try to re-do Hola!

Unintended and sad as it may be, its collapse now is part of the work. The fact that it collapsed even makes it more special! Here's what I think: Yiyi should quickly undo the cleaning up of the mess and re-install, as it were, Hola's collapse for next Wednesday's presentation; print a bunch of cards of the image that is left of this fine and so very ephemeral work; the usual art expo opening sort thing.


I asked Yiyi to keep and sign one of the books that together made up Hola for me. I want to be the first art lover that buys one. Before they are all gone.


notes __ ::
(*) Yiyi's words are a translation/interpretation of the following message that she posted [sic] in Dutch on her Facebook page, on Thursday evening, July 3th:
"Toen ik begon te werken in de Kringloop Zuid mijn, baas vroeg me om een kunstwerk te maken met oude boeken. Twee manden na, was ik klaar met mijn werk en die avond zakte op de grond. Vanmorgen heb ik de rommel opruimen en ik heb geconstateerd dat de instorting is gebeurd omdat een klem (sergeant) is loosgedraaid en het hout ging uit zijn plaats. Het was niet vanwege de vochtigheid, maar hoe dit heeft kunnen gebeuren ... alleen God weet" [ ^ ]

tags: Yiyi de la Mota, Hola, books

# .439.

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