The project is built around three interconnecting themes, which express some of the more constant threads that weave throughout the creative universe of the author of The Savage Detectives. The first sets out a specific geography of three cities (Barcelona, Girona and Blanes), where the bulk of Roberto Bolaño’s work was written; the second offers his creative timeline, when the books were written, completing and redefining the publishing timeline; and the third recreates his life story, giving an idea of the writer’s existential landscape: his day to day experience, provisional jobs and lifestyle in a more intimate light.
The layout of the exhibition is based on these thematic centres, which are further developed through a foreword, a vital reference to the Mexican years, and three specific periods:
1. The unknown university. Barcelona 1977-1980
2. Inside the kaleidoscope. Girona 1981-1985
3. The visitor from the future. Blanes 1985-2003
The exhibition ends with an afterword in which Bolaño’s influence on 21st century literature is analysed, through translations into 35 languages and the growing amount of academic research being done.
The visit to the exhibition explores the idea of detective work. The reader-visitor is the detective who is faced with a series of tests and clues, all in a spirit of humour and irony. The formalization of the layout revolves around the metaphor of the kaleidoscope, a reference used by the writer in various passages in his books: the same scene with different characters, the same characters in different scenes.
But what sets the exhibition apart, over and above its thematic approach, innovative museographic elements and dialogue with the visitor, is the presentation of unpublished material from the archives of the Roberto Bolaño estate. Novels, short stories, poems, miscellaneous texts and notebooks, correspondence, family photographs, magazines and fanzines, his personal library, a plethora of interviews, strategy board games and other valuable materials that provide greater insight into Bolaño’s creative universe and help produce a freer, more prolific interpretation of his work.