Pichler Michalis, Bibliophagia (Berlin: “greatest hits”, New York: Center for Book Arts, 2024).
Pichler Michalis, Bibliophagia (Berlin: “greatest hits”, New York: Center for Book Arts, 2024).
Michalis Pichler
Berlin: ”greatest hits”, 2024, New York: The Center for Book Arts, 2024
420 x 297 mm, 2
Offset, loose
ed. 1000 copies


Michalis Pichler

We refuse to think a text without a body. Materialzärtlichkeit.

We are only interested in what isn’t ours. Law of human. Law of Bibliophagia.

We make many acquaintances, choosing but a few as favorite meal. We are polemists, but also anthologists: we devour only the opponents we consider courageous.

Therefore we have never wanted to devour everything. Only what we feel.
Only what we lie. Or what we pretend to feel.

Poetry exists in the facts. Worn books colorful and grey, yellowed paper, obsolete contents, are aesthetic facts. Satin-matt photographs from the 1980’s, paginations, blank pages. Name lists, indexes, printer´s ink. That which is left, that which is neglected, vanquished and gathered together under the name of the outdated.

The aimless derivé in the forest of cheap second-hand bookshops and flea-markets. Overflowing banana boxes. Books for 1,00 Euro, 1,50 Euro, 2,00 Euro.

The reading of Bibliophagia is a roaming around, permanent curvature, a circular movement, it has nothing in common with the movement
of progress. It is a reading of rubble and ruins, of garbage and left-overs, of the expelled and the lost.

Libidinal economy: the anal bibliophile, who preserves the mint copy, stores away the book, shrinkwrapped, without even opening it.
The oral bibliophile, who enjoys the book, with dirty hands maybe, not protecting much, reads it to death,
or physically interacts with it, like a child.

Agile and illogical. Agile the New Book, born of Bibliophagia. Agile poetry. 

Agile Bibliophagia. Agile and candid. Like a child.

Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading.

The reader cannot protect themselves against the erosion of time, unless they eat the book, which is no more than a substitute (the spoor or promise) of moments “lost” in reading.
To be able to write, one has to have read. To be able to read, one has to have lived.

Bibliophagia first of all indicates the intense relation between reader and book, the loved book, its being read, being loved. The Ur-Bibliophage would be the child that enjoys its picture book to a degree that it gets consumed.

A book, any book is for us a sacred object: we do not listen to everything that everybody says, but read even “the torn scraps of paper in the streets”.

A suggestion of El Lissitsky (also Carrión): Don’t read.

The millionaire-contribution of all the errors. The way we (don’t) read. There is only print. Reproducibility.

Art/literature indicated here, that it would return to everyday life.
Whatever force in this direction will be good.

One cannot rely on Bibliophagia as such. It can be mobilized for the most different politics.

From              until               . The transfiguration of taboo into totem.
Against …,      ,…      and …

Against the white cube. Against Duchamp.
Against the cultivated practice of the autonomous aesthetic sphere.

Every passion borders on the chaotic, but Bibliophagia borders on the chaos of memories. The natural lust in demolishing, a literary drunkenness, nurtured from memories.

As the age is miraculous, Bibliophagia was born from the dynamic rotation of destructive factors:

Cutting, tearing out.
Gluing in
Surgical interventions: Penetrage, Recto-Verso-Collage
Negative Space: Holes, Cuts, Cutting Windows and Tunnels
Lost situations
Objet perdu
The verso of fragments
Production mistakes
Shadows when turning the page
Pages glued together
Erasing, Filtering, Highlighting
Inserted pages
Cut-off spines

Invention, through copy and surprise.

A new scale: with letters in books, children in laps.

Bibliophagia is a Friday night bar with birds singing in the condensed forest of cages, a thin fellow playing Rembetiko and Helena browsing the internet.
The present is all there, online.

We have a plural and actual base – the forest of data, online second-hand bookshops, flea markets, wastepaper bins and the library.

Our quotes are mutilated and approximative, like the left-overs of a torrential digestion.
Re-writing and ruminating.

Everyday love, desire and the capitalist modus vivendi. Absorption of the sacred enemy. To transform into a reproducible totem.

Everything digested. Barbarous, credulous, picturesque and tender.
Internet surfers. Bibliophagia. The forest and the library.      …
The kitchen. The sea. Bibliophagia.


“Bibliophagia” by Michalis Pichler was first printed in Counter-Signals 4, “Identity Is the Crisis” (2021), 184–85. Reprinted on the occasion of Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé at Center for Book Arts, January 18–May 1, 2024 | | Layout: Maira Fragoso Peña | Image: Michalis Pichler, untitled (bird), 2016

5,00 €