Legend of the Necessary Dreamer
Legend of the Necessary Dreamer is
a prose essay
an excavation of the historic Palacio Pombal
a work of impatience and death.
'A modest epic written in real-time, Maria Fusco’s Legend of the Necessary Dreamer records some weeks in June 2013 when her narrator went every day to Lisbon’s Palácio Pombal in order to write about it. But 'it', of course, isn’t only the building, but the wraparound sensual act of perceiving. As she writes, I am trying to turn myself into a recording device…. Fusco’s book brilliantly examines what it means not just to look, but to think, feel and remember. Legendexpands the bounds of discursion. It’s a new classic of female philosophical fiction.'
Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick
‘Legend of the Necessary Dreamer is an excellent work of spatial imagination. Fusco writes one-to-one scale between body and building. Producing space through her critical habitation of the extreme close-up, decelerating engagement, recycling history into atmospherics. A new taxonomy of site-based address.'
Eyal Weizman, Professor of Spatial & Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, University of London
'Legend of the Necessary Dreamer is an extraordinary book. Combining fact and fiction, traversing scales of distance and intimacy, shifting registers to oscillate between creative and critical modes of engagement, Fusco offers an embodied, performative and imaginative relation to the Pombal Palacio in Lisbon. Here, and following along each tightly-wrought sentence, we are encouraged to empathise with objects and materials, experience the everyday ‘made strange’, and follow lines of thought into the open. This is excellent writing. This is writing for our time.'
Kristen Kreider, Reader in Poetry & Poetics, Royal Holloway, University of London
'"Where are the places I may more easily adapt to my own scale?" Maria Fusco, ghost phenomenologist, fuses dust and memory in her account of a residency at an ancient palacio in Lisbon. What's stucco; what's skin? And what are the kinds of work we can do on either? An ecstatic, lyrical investigation into the layers of the personal, historical and mythic past.’ Joanna Walsh, author of Hotel
Published January 2017, Vanguard Editions London
Extracts from the book are made into a short film, Breath, by Pedro Lino, watch here
Launches & Readings
26.01.17 Architectural Association, London
09.02.17 CCA, Glasgow
09.02.17 Collective, Edinburgh
28.02.17 University of Amsterdam
11.05.17 Arnolfini, Bristol
12.07.17 Cornerhouse, Manchester
22.01.21 Gordian Projects, Sheffield (virtually)