A Perfect Day

(243 Postcards in Real-Colour)

Here we are in St-Trop!

Heavenly weather,

There is a whole gang of us. Perfect!


This are the four line in one of hundreds post cards which

constitute the repertoire of the oeuvre. The texts are matched‚

with, or collide with picture post cards that are equally

arbitrary but always a cliché of a well-known stock phrases. We

are encouraged, not unlike Freud, to rediscover the truth in the

most banal‚ or Husserl’s and Wittgenstein’s desire to return to

the things themselves to search in the lived experience of

everyday lives and the ordinary language for a better

understanding of the mind and its psyche.

We are at Hotel Beau-Rivage.

Lovely weather. We go to the beach.

I‚ve been playing boules.

It all comes to an end on Tuesday.


What could be simpler, plain, to the point? What could be a

better mask?

Daniel Blaufuks invites us to contemplate a vast socio-cultural

fabric, which reflects and shapes our relationships with the

environment at the same time as we weave the tissue of our own

creation - a representation of ourselves. The world turns out to

be always seen and known in the light of the projection we are

making of our own inter-subjective condition. This profound

desire, to know, is beautifully hidden in a series of strategies

in which the most banal experience elicits a description

regarding how it is to live on earth by telling us exactly the

opposite, how it is not. 

A Perfect Day was publicly first exhibited at Location One

Gallery at Greene St., New York. 60 postcards with a film. Based on

George Perec texts titled 243 Postcards in Real-Colour included

in L’Infra-ordinaire. In time this work evolved into a series of

exhibitions and installations. It permits various types of

configurations. In Coimbra it became a public art project A

Perfect Day (in Coimbra) in collaboration with the architect João

Mendes Ribeiro.

George Perec inspires Daniel Blaufuks not only in the narrow sense

of this use of Post cards, but in the epistemological sense that

is Blaufuks shares Perec’s understanding of reality as ultimately

fathomless and groundless, hence the attachment to the things of

everyday live as the sole reference to our otherwise unhinged

sense of the real. Perec the author of La Vie; Mode d’emploi, was

one of the founders of a group of writers OuLiPo (Oeuvroir du

Litterature Potentialle). An acronym that stood for their

assumption that indeed all-human interaction is regulated by

numbers. Not unlike the Kabalistic art of gemetria assigning and

transcribing numerical values from Hebrew words according to the

numerical values of their letters.  Transformation of this type in

addition to anagrams and other linguistic devices, provided a vast

canvas on which all plots, description and prescription for

conceiving of a better world (or just this world) could be

imagined with great certainty of grammar and number. Perec was

ranged alongside Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau, Marcel Benabou,

Jacques Roubaud and others, fundamentally aware of things and

places and our impossible desire to know them in order to know

ourselves. Not unlike the numerology which attracted the attention

of some of the best writers, thinkers and musicians in Vienna of

the early twenties. The use of the magic square in order to

organize a composition was not unknown. “The more constrains one

imposes, the more one frees oneself of the chains that shackle the

spirit” is one of the OuLiPo maxim which is like a parody of

Webern‚s lecture in a private house between January and March

1932. At the end of the final lecture Webern said: “As we

gradually gave up tonality an idea occurred to us: “We don’t want

to repeat, there must constantly be something new! Obviously this

doesn’t work, it destroys comprehensibility. At least it’s

impossible to write long stretches of music in that way. Only

after the formulation of the twelve-tone law did it again become

possible to write longer pieces. We want to say in a quite new

way‚ what has been said before. But now I can invent more freely;

everything has a deeper unity. Only now is it possible to compose

in free fantasy, adhering to nothing except the row. To put it

quite paradoxically, only through these unprecedented fetters has

complete freedom become possible!“ (The Path to the New Music, 

Ed. Universal Edition, London, 1963). Of course, in Thomas Mann,

Doctor Faustus, the musician Leverkühn will repeat these very same


Few, if any artists have adopted OuLiPo creative strategies so

far. Daniel Blaufuks‚ A Perfect Day‚ is based on Perec constant

reference to a view presented from afar, transmitted through a

drawing or a word and then again by post, letter, postcard, etc.,

only to be discarded again, the watercolor drawings being made

into a jigsaw puzzle and dissolved in water (La Vie: Mode

d’emploi). The peaceful world of postcards, pools, beaches,

mountains lakes, and above all, blue skies selected by the

artist give the reading a new twist. Daniel Blaufuks has applied

his photographic prisms in other works like My Tangier with the

writer Paul Bowles. His Collected Short Stories likewise

depend on a vast constellation of literature, art and

photography. If one is to have the full pleasure on his play on

these conventions, which enable and ensure the stability of generic

production, we have to have both these given axioms in his mind

eye at the same time as he is urged to suspend them. Daniel

Blaufuks is tireless in his insistence on the immaculate surface

in which the innocent eye will not suspect or discover any reason

to doubt, but that his audience will not fail to register as highly

dubious and treachery water. Not unlike the reality in a Sherlock

Holmes story, the details of the everyday are full of clues to the

initiated eyes and totally ordinary and uneventful to the

uninitiated. More in keeping with the mystery of the Purloined

Letter, one of the first detective stories written by Edgar Allen

Poe”, a letter is hidden, but where?  On the surface, on top of the

open writing desk, on the wall, hidden by being totally exposed.

No, Daniel Blaufuks photographs are never, never, never over/under

exposed, he insists on the intactness of their surfaces and in

there, on their skin lies their depth. By removing a layer we are

only able to discover another layer, equally mysterious and

equally resistance to our inquiry. It seems that the only mode in

which we can have a certain equilibrium considering our

uncertainty, is by articulating the doted lines which create, and

are constantly in need of recreating these fragile bridges we have

assumed to have built between our monadic souls, solipsistic mind

with what is there, Das Ding an sich (the thing itself).

Lisbon has provided us yet again with heteroeneous persona. In a

world of uncertainty many masks are needed. Daniel Blaufuks

provide us once more with a device against an overdose of reality.

The impossible object of desire becomes the paradigm of paradise,

never, never, never, never, never, there.