Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meriç Algün Ringborg - "The Library of Unborrowed Books"

For years, I have wanted to visit libraries across the land and find the book that has not been checked out for the longest time to claim as my own for two weeks to photograph. Why? I want to embrace the rejected, loving it for a moment before returning it to obscurity on a random shelf. I think about this often but am usually engrossed in five other projects and continue to put it off, waiting for another time.

I instantly fell in love with Meriç Algün Ringborg's The Library of Unborrowed Books not because the artist did it before me, but because she did it so well. I still plan on completing it someday - it needs to be included in The Library of Loss Part 3 focusing on the book as conceptual art.

[All images above are Meriç Algün Ringborg's from The Library of Unborrowed Books]

From Ringborg's website:

"The Library of Unborrowed Books bases itself on the concept of the library as an institution manifesting language and knowledge, of the passing of awareness and the openness to all types of people and literature. This work, however, comprises all the books from a selected library that have never been borrowed. The framework in this instance hints at what has been disregarded, knowledge essentially unconsumed, and puts on display what has eluded us."

"Why these books aren’t ‘chosen,’ why they are overlooked, will never be clear but whatever each book contains, en masse they become representative of the gaps and cracks of history, or the bureaucratic cataloging of the world and the ambivalent relationship between absence and presence. In this library their existence is validated simply by being borrowed, underlining their being as well as their content and form by putting them on display in an autonomous library dedicated to the books yet to have been revealed. The first section of The Library of Unborrowed Books have opened Stockholm with 600 books that are unborrowed from Stockholms Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library) for a period of three-weeks."

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