A private library tells us something essential about its owner: it provides information about the cornerstones of his intellectual cosmos. Our own bookshelf reveals our interests, offers, aberrations, absences as well as lines of orientation not followed. It leaves the question open as to how important which book actually was to its owner and which of the missing books were formative nevertheless. Since June, the unitednationsplaza has opened the private library of US artist Martha Rosler to the public. The eclectic ensemble of books on economy, political theory, war, colonialism, poetry, feminism, science fiction, art history, of children’s books, dictionaries, maps and travel literature as well as photo albums, posters, postcards and newspaper clippings can be studied at will. Rosler’s work is centered on everyday life and the public sphere, often with an eye to women’s experience. Recurrent concerns are the media and war as well as architecture and the urban environment. Thus, the artist is just like her library: Smart, decidedly political in orientation, often funny, and with a wide range of interests. At the same time the exhibition once again raises the general questions: Is this an installation and therefore art, a comment, a reflexive auto seminar, a study hall or all in one?
Martha Rosler Library
1 August – 9 November 2008
Stills Edinburgh, 23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
Stills is delighted to announce the opening of the Martha Rosler Library on Thursday 31st July from 7pm.
Text > Christiane Hitzemann