Alice Guéricolas-Gagné: Paper Rafts – A Quest on Samizdat Literature

8-25 November 2022. 

Finissage: 6pm, 22nd November 2022. 

Do you remember samizdat literature? What might be its heritage in contemporary Hungary? To start her quest around samizdat literature in Central Europe, Alice Guéricolas-Gagné stops by ISBN books+gallery, where she will be building a work-in-progress exhibition. The exhibit will piece together notes and photos, memories and objects, which Alice will collect by meeting samizdat makers and conducting research in Budapest’s archives.

From this material, she hopes to write a novel, Paper Rafts [working title], that will explore the sphere of literary samizdats through the lens of magic realism. The provisional title of the novel evokes the oasis that these clandestine texts could constitute in a society. 

What could samizdat literature mean today? Join her to exchange around the topic.

After a master’s thesis in literature about Too Loud a Solitude (Bohumil Hrabal) and its clandestine circulation in 1970s Czechoslovakia, Alice Guéricolas-Gagné (Québec, Canada) pursues a samizdat’s based quest, but in a fiction way. She published the novel Saint-Jambe (2018), that conducted the artist Mélina Kerhoas and her to create the neighborhood’s project La montée des eaux (The Rising Waters) (2020), a post-apocalyptic utopia embodied in an immersive theater show and an exhibition in house windows.  By working with different mediums (words, places, encounters, archives, objects), Alice invites imaginary worlds and memories to flourish in society. 

Photo: Máté Lukács