Illusion / David Maroto

26 Feb

A Memory

I am a little boy and I am at home, in the living-room. My parents are talking in the kitchen. I can hear them from here. I can see their silhouettes through the door’s glass. Usually they fight, but today they are speaking in a relaxed tone, which is new for me. For once, I pay attention to what they are saying:

-You know, Maria, when I was young, life seemed like a fire that burns, that never will go out… but then, unnoticed, it starts going out and ends up as a pile of ashes that you cannot rekindle. Sometimes I feel as if I have lived the photocopy of a life.

At that moment I decide that I don’t want to be like my father.

Casa Diógenes (Diogenes House)

llusion’s last chapter begins with the protagonist entering the apartment of his father, who had been found dead in it. He had not spoken to him for years, and he comes to his house only to discover that the old man suffered Diogenes syndrome. The apartment is a jumble of found objects, accumulated in an inextricable chaos that fills the rooms from floor to ceiling. While wandering around, he finds a number of objects, texts and images that trigger some stories within the story, such as Dürer’s Rhinoceros (about second-hand knowledge), Novgorod Codex (example of hyper-palimpsest) and Seven Masks (about a process of unveiling layers of a subject till reaching his empty core).

These stories talk about different aspects of his father’s ill behavior: compulsive appropriation of found items, the creation of a tangle impossible to decipher, and the contradictory attempt to both isolate himself from the others and his dependency on the surrounding environment to define himself. Taking as a departure point the mnemonic technique known as Memory Room, the protagonist traces a parallel between memory, space, accumulation and feeling of self-identity -which renders bizarre results when applied to the case of his father’s apartment. Paradoxically, at the time of his death, he recognizes commonalities shared with his father, whom, during all his life, had been a model to reject. Having left behind a destructive story with Lorraine, the protagonist feels that the beginning of another cycle of desire is coming. After been disappointed by the possession of his desired object, he is willing to start the search for another one that sets even greater difficulties and, with them, greater dangers for his own being. He sees it is time to enter the same neurotic wheel, to imitate again someone’s desire, to long for a new obstacle, to end up in disaster. At that point, in the middle of that messy apartment, he decides to set out himself to escape that recurring cycle that only leads to despair and ignorance.

He devotes himself to a life project that will both situate him out of (borrowed) desires and will serve to spread his findings. He already knows a domain where things alter their value, where subjects give up their daily desires and (mis)conceptions. He decides to apply himself to the creation of a game, a special one, which will render the players aware of its own mechanisms, one that will create knowledge through experience. This experience will be perhaps limited to the boundaries of the game, but will be real, nonetheless. He will begin with this and then, afterwards, perhaps go for wider, more ambitious projects. That will be seen.

About Illusion

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