The following libraries have already been included in the program:
THE TOTALITY OF TRUE PROPOSITIONS (BEFORE) Julien Prévieux, France
Julien Prévieux’s library takes the audience on a trip through time. His locally-sourced collection of books brings together publications, manuals, and handbooks filled with concepts and ideas that did not survive the inexorable passage of time. However informative these books are — or once were — their irrelevance today demonstrates how knowledge can ultimately be fleeting. For this library of obsolete books, we collaborated with the libraries at Universidad de Costa Rica and the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. → more
BOOKSHELF BY BARBARA HOFFMANN Barbara Hoffmann, Germany/Switzerland
What are the favorite books of designers who normally create other people’s favorite books? We asked book designer Barbara Hoffmann to select 15 books for display at Despacio. Her selection features books that stand out for their thoughtful interplays of form, material, and content. Or in her words, she picked them for, “: it's the story, the smell, the touch, the grid, the look, the cover, the color, the sound, the paper, the weight, the appeal, the size, the title, and...” so many other reasons for which to love these books. → more
TRAINING TO BE A GIRL Sophie Barbasch, United States
Sophie Barbasch's books originate from asking men on Craigslist simple questions like, “Are you lonely?” “Is there anything you've never told anyone?” “Tell me why I'm a good girl,” “Please send me a picture of your bed,” and “Please write me a love letter.” → more
LIFE IS ELSEWHERE Diana Abi Khalil, Lebanon/France
Diana Abi Khalil writes and draws in her little notebooks about traveling to space, heartache, and questioning moments of doubt. Most of the artist’s notebooks are unfinished or forgotten, others have been smudged by rain or tears, and yet others were lost or gifted to friends or lovers. Playful yet honest, these notebooks each take on lives of their own and for the first time ever are united and on view. → more
POINT OF VIEW An Anthology of the Moving Image
For over 30 years, video and film art have challenged many of the conventions of the art world. From questions of reproduction to issues surrounding acquisition, video and film art have grown from marginalized forms of artistic production to material for mainstream filmmaking and music video production. Point of View is an innovative commissioning and publishing project by the New Museum designed to make video and film art more accessible, and to fully utilize the qualities inherent to the medium. → more
WORDS ENDING ON TAPE with Printed Matter, New York
We collaborated with Printed Matter, Inc. (New York) to revive an almost lost medium. A few decades ago the cassette tape was the most convenient way to record sound material, yet with the fast advancing digital world it is at the verge of being completely forgotten. Nevertheless, artists have continuously used this format to further expand their forms of expression. Listen to the sound of a diary, bodies, an unstable table, singing sand, and of a disassembled cassette in our newest Library in Residence. → more
PRIVATE MATTER Diego Fournier, Costa Rica
Loose pages, fragile, incomplete and sometimes too personal, the artist Diego Fournier lends his sketchbooks to Despacio. By exploring the processes of the everyday, whether ravens eating worms at the plaza, the dancing legs of frogs or a boy experiencing the beach, each of these intertwined stories of personal encounters unfold to new destinations of imagination in a series of 20 handmade sketchbooks. → more
The Library in Residence program opened on March 2016 and runs in parallel to Despacio's exhibition program.
A journey of several days through mystical Icelandic topography leads to the site of Kunsthalle Tropical, the hallowed burial ground indicated only by a peculiar rectangle of stones shrouded by ice-capped mountains. There, the book detailing the institution's greater vision was buried.
The Kunsthalle Tropical Library was founded.
On October 11, 2014, a team of five ceremoniously buried the Kunsthalle Tropical’s first and so far only book, entitled Sometimes Attention Should Be Paid to the Absence of Everything (Link), a one-of-a-kind handwritten and illustrated ode to the curators' greater vision for the unconventional space in the Icelandic desert.
The burial celebrated the official founding of the Library within Kunsthalle Tropical.
The book was buried in a industrial strength lock-box, analogized to the encapsulated knowledge within a library. Underground, the book will rest undisturbed until a curious individual is willing to dig a little deeper.
In order to prompt its patrons to quest for knowledge, the buried manifesto serves as a challenge to the Kunsthalle visitors capable of locating the lock-box to explore the Kunsthalle Tropical Library, where other unique books may also be buried in the future.
Similar to all great works of fiction, the Kunsthalle Tropical Library is designed to bridge reality and our wildest imaginations. Imagine a library without books, shelves, and librarians. What does it mean to declare a uninhabited land a library?
In the absence of the usual accouterments, will the library successfully function as a dwelling for intellectuals, metaphysical thinkers, and literary connoisseurs? Inspired by nature’s beauty, romantic notions, and humanist bravado, will the Kunsthalle Tropical Library ever realize its conceptual potential?
Traditionally, a library is a place that facilitates reading, learning, and studying. A library is a servant of knowledge and an exciter of one's internal sense of adventure.
Libraries are often quiet, organized, and comprised of carpeted floors drenched in florescent lighting and punctuated by dated shelves, tables, and chairs. But above all, libraries are the physical archives of our past and present and hold the transcribed relics of our world’s greatest minds.
The Kunsthalle Tropical Library challenges the physical model of the library proper by declaring that the same opportunities presented by the local library are available to its visitors in the remote setting of the Icelandic desert, where shelves, tables, and chairs are transcended by panoramic beauty.
Likened to an engrossing novel or study, this library is anyone’s for the taking but requires effort and discovery to understand. Ultimately, the experiences of Kunsthalle Tropical’s collective visitors will redefine one's understanding of a library, encapsulating our modern memories and messages stored in the clouds.
Though physically defined, the Library at Kunsthalle Tropical is conceptually grounded in the journey, much like its first book, a now ‘absent’ transcription of human will and imagination.
The Kunsthalle Tropical Library was founded on October 11, 2014.
The burial of the book Sometimes Attention Should Be Paid to the Absence of Everything (link) celebrated the official founding of the Library within Kunsthalle Tropical.
In June 2016 Kunsthalle Lissabon was guest at Kunsthalle Tropical. Luís Silva and João Mourão invited the portuguese artist Joana Escoval to join them on the exploration. The artist added Outlaws in Language and Destiny to the library. The publication is co-published by Palmario Recordings and AtlasProjectos and consists in a clear acetate 7'' Mono Flexi-Disc containing sound recordings of insects in a rain forest of Costa Rica mixed with the sound produced by a 180º orthodontic X-Ray in Lisbon. Encased in a double-sided poster with two found photos representing two kids and two birds, in Amazonia and Sweden.