Over the past two decades, Alejandro Cesarco has been making art, publishing books, and curating exhibitions. His expanded practice centers on a close consideration of affect, or as Cesarco states it, “the way meaning is felt.” With a deep interest in conceptualism’s linguistic turn, he has investigated the meanings of measured expression, the emotional cadence of feelings (however sincere, contradictory, or uncomfortable these may be), and the common and varied languages that emerge from emotional ties and genealogies.

Encapsulating his artistic practice and these core themes is Cesarco’s Index series, begun in 2000. The series is exhibited entirely for the first time in the artist’s solo-exhibition at Witte de With.

The Index series is a central and ongoing project within the artist’s larger praxis. Each index references an imaginary book he “hasn’t written and most probably never will”. Each one addresses a specific theme or topic and hints at a possible narrative within it. To date, Cesarco has made six different indexes and is creating a new one for this exhibition; their subject-matter ranges from large ideas, such as writing’s relation to memory or the repetition of romantic archetypes, to very focused emotions, such as mourning or regret.

Indexing has become an idiosyncratic way of tracking the development of Cesarco’s interests, becoming “a form of self-portraiture that unfolds over time". “This ongoing series of indexes are a form of writing that constitutes an archive of my reading”, he says. The way information and knowledge is organized and presented, as well as a preference for para- texts has been an ongoing concern throughout his work. The entries listed in each index enable its navigation and use—they outline or promise a narrative—but, they simultaneously signal towards that which is excluded or silenced from it.