Un jour sans pain* est un jour sans soleil
Set of two leporellos
Offset printing on 90 kg and 200 kg Araveal paper
Cover leporello: 15.2 x 21 cm (folded) / 66 x 21 cm (unfolded)
Inner leporello: 14.5 x 21 cm (folded) / 191.1 x 21 cm (unfolded)
Edition of 26 copies and 4 artist’s proofs, numbered and signed by the artist
Although the title of this edition, Un jour sans pain* est un jour sans soleil [“A day without bread is a day without sun”], sounds like a typical French saying, it is simply a sentence glimpsed in a bakery where Ana Jotta used to go in Paris. But the asterisk complicates things a little: on the back of the leporello, the artist instructs us to read “pain” in the English, thus adding a sarcastic touch to this commercial motto.
The (absence of) sun and the umbrella, as well as the wallpaper designed for the presentation of the edition at Keijiban, can refer to the tsuyu, the rainy season during which they were exhibited, in the open air. One can also notice the relationship of the umbrella to the leporello itself—and to the more general notions of unfolding and spreading which fuel Jotta’s artistic practice. Moreover, this useful, foldable device can be seen as another specimen of the Jotas, a series of objects that the artist has gathered since the beginning of her career, all items having the shape of the letter “J”, or jota in Portuguese.
These are just some of the leads that we can follow, among many others, to enter this humorous, fluid and complex work. The artist often appropriates and reinterprets everyday signs, and in doing so, she encourages us to do the same, that is, to read all words and images in another language. This edition—and the rest of her work—are indeed a plea for free translation and creative misunderstanding.
Ana Jotta’s exhibition took place at Keijiban from June 15 to July 14, 2021.