Hyle - Ein Traumsein in Spanien

Raoul Hausmann


Book, 24.5 x 17.3 cm, 347 p., language : German, publisher : Belleville Verlag, München, ISBN : 3-936298-03-3.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2028/884).

Literary synopsis

Raoul Hausmann wrote his novel Hyle in a semi-automatic, semi-stream-of-consciousness narrative style. Hyle is the story of Hausmann, his wife Edwig Mankiewitz, and his lover Vera Broïdo in the Spanish island of Ibiza, where they moved to escape the Nazi regime, only to leave it at the start of the Spanish Civil War. The relationships between the three created a tormenting scenario, halfway between idyll and nightmare. Writen throughout a long period of time, and first published in 1969, Hyle is a mixture of autobiographic narration, mythical evocation, an investigation on language, and a reflection on matter and perception.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

During his three-year stay in Ibiza, 1933–1936, Raoul Hausmann walked through some of the most characteristic locations of the island. His particular sensitivity allowed him to recognise the value of the legacy of the material culture that remained on the rural houses of the island. This approach imbued an exhaustive analysis of the details of these constructions and the morphology of the landscape. Hausmann’s research was embodied in his diaries; small booklets turned into real sketchbooks. His drawings provide a unique look, focused on discovering the origins of those architectures of clear geometries and controlled proportions, created with certain spontaneity to respond to the needs of the human being, attending to their materials and construction techniques,. His discourse was developed in hundreds of typed pages and almost five hundred photographic negatives. The contact with the material culture of Ibiza would certainly mean the discovery of a myriad of intercultural relations between the elements of the rural houses of the island and other examples in the Mediterranean area. Haussmann discovered the universal character of this architecture; and so he discovered the true value of Hyle.

- Aitor Acilu

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