Pubblikaturi AWL have just published IR-RAĠEL (The Man), a book written entirely on the walls of a private residence in Naxxar. The verses on the wall consisted of variations on statements about IR-RAĠEL which were originally composed by Glen Calleja and then handwritten on the walls by a number of collaborators.
IR-RAĠEL is a complete book in every respect – with an ISBN number, page numbers, title page, publishing house and author – except one; it is not written on paper or in digital format but on hard immovable stone walls.
The book was launched on July 25 only to be plastered and painted over the following day, making it an ephemeral product which now exists only in the audience-readers’ memories, photos and other documentation. The book will therefore not be available for sale on the shelves of bookshops or online shops. The written text itself continues to reflect the impermanence of the physical book in that statements are re-worked and revised on the same page creating endless variation, at times to the point of contradiction. This process is the author’s confession that the subject is bigger than himself and his beliefs and on the other hand a playful treatment, and comment, on the authority of written assertions. Moreover, Calleja removes himself from the book by delegating the actual writing on the walls to collaborators.
The collaborators on IR-RAĠEL are Stephanie Borġ, Samira Cruciani, Mohab Fahmi, Lidwina Schembri Wismayer, Sandro Spina, Caldon Mercieca and Nicholas Vella Laurenti while the documentation is by photojournalist Gilbert Calleja.