Image: Denise Milan, Magmatic Banquet


Commentary on the exhibition by Denise Milan

Quartzoteka is Denise Milan's exhibition, curated by Luiz Armando Bagolin, in the basement of the Mindlin Library at USP. Not by chance, as the Library is its natural theme and place.

Denise Milan's works constitute a journey to the center of the Earth. In it, the mundus suberraneus and the hyperuranion of the high spheres correspond, in a dust of stars of which crystals, geodes, basalt and books are composed.

If the metaphor the “book of the world” meant that nature was a book whose characters are divine writing, it therefore possessed an eternity: “The Renaissance investigates the universe, and the Baroque, libraries. book as a correlate: “The world does not know a book that is greater than itself; but its most glorious part is man, before whom God has printed, instead of a beautiful title page, his incomparable image; Furthermore, God transformed it into the excerpt, nucleus and precious stone of the other parts of this great book of the world.” “There is nothing more lasting and immortal than books.”[I]

Denise Milan's quartz books, before that, are arcana originating from the primordial book, a book protected in the core of the Earth. Staged in a dramaturgy, Denise Milan's books are a secret reliquary, requiring a liturgy. Closed or open on a page, their writing is invisible. They reveal and conceal a Ur-Grund, a foundation of the foundation, an “absence” of origin, which makes it possible to reveal its content, through an incessant movement of reading and writing.

In their crystals, geodes and crystalline illuminations, Denise Milan's books are a analogue of the constellated sky. Dispersed, the golden pages of his sculptures are a luminous path for humans seeking to enter their senses. And the sentinels, like protective menhirs, are desiderable figures of this world of the Book that contains all books.

This Quartzoteka is a magical encyclopedia that understands that the origin of the world is contained in the magma where the book and life are generated. Quartzoteka is a descent to the bottom of the Earth that is, at the same time, an elevation, a pantheistic mystery carrying silence full of traces and peace.

* Olgaria Matos She is a professor of philosophy at Unifesp and in the Department of Philosophy at USP. She is the author, among other books, of Philosophical palindromes: between myth and history (Unifesp).


[I] Benjamin, Walter, Origin of German Baroque drama. São Paulo, Brasiliense, 1984, p. 164-165.

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