Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala
Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Photographs: Roberto Aguirrezabala

Publisher: Self-published

244 pages

Pictures: 170

Year: 2023

Price: 400

Comments: In a box, silkscreen softcover, 25 x 22,7 x 5,2 cm, b&w and color photographs. Japanese binding. Numbered limited edition of 45 copies + 5 artist’s proofs. Signed by Roberto Aguirrezabala

Hidden Book is Aguirrezabala's sixth self-published book in the last five years and completes a trilogy on intellectual resistance in the former Eastern Bloc, which includes Two Thousand Words (2021) and Samizdat (2002).

Hidden Book is a tragicomedy of 20th century social and political life, a choral story of a grieving and resilient Europe making fun of itself. A drama and a comedy with hilarious characters and visible from the depths of human tragedy to the most biting satire.

The narrative is based on various plots drawn from a selection of fourteen novels banned by communist governments in the Eastern Bloc. Most of the novels deal with political issues, critical of Soviet supremacy over communist satellite countries, and sarcastically ironic of the social, economic and governmental environment in the homeland. The stories cover the most relevant themes of the 20th century, such as autocracy, invading occupation, repression, censorship of free speech, the rewriting of history, false heroes, in short, our previous complex social, cultural and political life.

Hidden Book features photographs of great literary figures of the 20th century, taken from the most important novels banned by communist governments, such as The Master and Margarita by the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, White Book by Czech writer Pavel Kohout, The cafe on Cemetery Street by Czech writer Ota Filip, Life and Fate by Ukrainian writer and war correspondent Vasili Grossman, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Russian writer Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Czech writer Milan Kundera, The Axe by writer and political activist Ludvík Vaculík, and The Cowardsby Josef Skvorecky, co-founder of one of the most important publishing houses of Czech literature in exile, among others.

Their protagonists are portrayed in fictitious settings, along with objects and belongings that define their personalities or question an aspect of their contemporary historical environment. Each character is enveloped in a parallel context, with heterogeneous collections of old personal photographs, family albums and archival documents. Hidden Book is thus composed of portraits of marginal characters, historical objects, memories and life in all its magnitude, a singular journey that crosses the 20th century to take a close look at the most vibrant aspects of subversive critical thought.

Hidden Book is structured into fourteen chapters, one for each novel on display. Each part presents a new design and even a different binding. An immensely baroque work in terms of its concept and form, which constantly seeks the physical and conceptual limits of the book as an object, while also continually questioning itself. Folding and binding are handmade by Aguirrezabala and also contain numerous artisan processes, such as embroidery on the fabric of the cover of the box, silkscreen printing, creasing, original cyanotype, pigment ink printing, photopolymer printing, and handwritten text, among others, which makes each copy a unique piece.

This artist book is a limited edition of 45 copies plus 5 artist’s proofs. This work is part of the concept of Self-Publishing as Resistance, which Aguirrezabala has been working on in recent years. It vindicates the value of self-publishing, beyond the industry, where the author produces each phase of publication as if it were a life cycle.


Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)

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Roberto Aguirrezabala,Hidden Book (SIGNED AND NUMBERED, edt of 45)