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Living Library at the Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk

12.09.2014 at 6 pm

Published at:29.08.2014

On Friday 12 September at 6 pm at the Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk there was opening of the exhibition Living Library.
The first edition of the exhibition took place at MOCAK Library (23 April – 16 May 2013) in Krakow. The exhibition in Gdańsk has been enriched with additional works.

The library signifies constant motion – of people, books and ideas. Living Library sets out to show the singularity of the life of books, demonstrating how it relates to the changes taking place in the Polish reality. The exhibition gives rise to nostalgic longings for the mobile library and the old-fashioned antiquarian bookshop; it enters a dialogue with the tradition of the artist’s book and it presents innovative electronic publishing. Taking as its starting point the study of randomness, Living Library analyses the life, use and social reception of books, moving from individual cases of the readers’ experience to the fate of the book as an object – its circulation, the contemporary models of its functioning and the means of artistic intervention. The complexity of the issues involved is reflected in the diversity of the works on display – the exhibition makes use of varied media, combining the narrative of the document with the universal language of art.

The exhibition Living Library was inspired by Zbigniew Makowski’s artist’s book Las husula extranas, which can be viewed as part of the display in the Library of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. The book was produced in 1965 on the basis of the publication Ocherki istorii CCCP IX–XIII ww. With his intervention, the artist’s intervention deleted the original content in Russian, constructing different layers of meaning on top. A free compilation of quotations, meanings and signs combined into the structure of a palimpsest, open to different readings and interpretation. With every next revisiting of its pages, the book offers new dicoveries, a new epiphany. One striking observation, jotted down, that springs to mind is this: ‘To catch what’s on the move with what’s on the move?’

Artists: Maciej Cuske, Hubert Czerepok, Jarosław Faliński, Grzegorz Jaroszuk, Zbigniew Makowski, Christian Odzuck, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Michał Szlaga, Waldemar Węgrzyn, MORAVA Publishing House

Curator: Magdalena Mazik