Jorge Luís Borges visited Melbourne for 10 Days
Installation view Katrin von Maltzahn: "Alphabet", BKV Brandenburgischer Kunstverein, Potsdam

Jorge Luís Borges visited Melbourne for 10 Days (2007)

Watercolor and pencil on paper, various sizes. 

Soon after arriving in Melbourne, I learned that in 1938 Jorge Luís Borges 
visited Melbourne for 10 days, spending much of his time in the domed reading room of the State Library. Borges’ fiction stories have influenced my work and I decided to use this surprising piece of information as the starting point for a new project. 
The story I heard about Borges continues like this: The strain of the long voyages to and from Australia made the writer very weak and soon after his return to Argentina a vein behind his eyes burst and he became blind. When he was finally allowed to work again he decided to test his sanity, not by composing a poem or essay but by attempting something he had never done before: to write short stories. These soon made him world famous...

The more I’m looking for confirmation of this incredible story – which would mean one of Borges’ last visual impressions where of the domed reading room in Melbourne – the more I wonder whether it is itself a fiction…