Martha Rosler Library was opened to the public by e-flux in November 2005 as a storefront reading room on Ludlow Street in New York City. Comprising approximately 7,800 titles from the artist’s personal collection, the Library has since travelled to Frankfurt, Antwerp, Berlin, Paris, Liverpool and Edinburgh.
This is a library on the move. From city to city and – more importantly – within itself, where none of the contents have their fixed abode, Rosler rearranges the shelves with shifting insights, sudden leaps of thought and with a critical perspective to its context and spatial configuration
This publication has been produced to mark the presentation of the project at Site in Liverpool and Stills in Edinburgh. It includes interviews about the Library conducted by Stephen Wright and Martha Rosler and Anton Vidokle and an essay by Elena Filipovic that places the work in the context of the artist’s larger body of work.
Essays and interviews include John Byrne, Paul Domela, Kirsten Lloyd, Deirdre MacKenna, Martha Rosler and Stephen Wright.
Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and lives and works in the US. His work has been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale, Lodz Biennale, and at Tate Modern, London; Moderna Galerija, Ljublijana and P.S 1, New York among many others.
With Julieta Aranda, Vidokle organised e-flux video rental, which travelled to numerous institutions including Portikus, Frankfurt; KunstWerk, Berlin; Extra City, Antwerp and others. As founding director of e-flux, he has produced projects such as Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organised An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life. Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was cancelled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called unitednationsplaza – a twelve-month project involving more than a hundred artists, writers, philosophers, and diverse audiences.
Elena Filipovic is a writer and independent curator. Co-curated When things cast no shadow with Adam Szymczyk, the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art and co-edited The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions of and Biennals in Post-Wall Europe (Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 2006) with Barbara Vanderlinden. Filipovic is a frequent contributor to frieze and a guest tutor of theory/exhibition history at De Appel, Amsterdam.
Stephen Wright is an art writer and former programme director at the College International de Philosophie, Paris and a research fellow at INHA. Editorial director of the Biennale de Paris, he has curated Dataesthetics (WHW, Zagreb), Rumour as Media (Aksanat, Istanbul), following In Absentia (Passerelle, Brest) and The Future of the Reciprocal Readymade (Apexart, NYC) as part of a series of exhibitions examining art practices with low coefficients of artistic visibility, which raise the prospect of art without artworks, authorship or spectatorship. He lives in Paris, and is a member of the editorial advisory committee of the journal Third Text.
Martha Rosler is an artist working in video, photo-text, installation, and performance. She also writes criticism and lectures nationally and internationally. Her work on the public sphere ranges from concerns with everyday lift and the media to architecture and the built environment, especially housing. Her work often centres on women’s experience. Rosler has long produced works on war and the ‘national security climate’ that predisposes war.