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Library Users: A Virtual Debate Among Artists on How and Why Libraries Matter to Them

A virtual debate between Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol, Luísa Cunha, Candida Höfer, and Jyrki Siukonen, moderated by Penelope Curtis
Un débat virtuel entre des usagers singuliers : comment et pourquoi la bibliothèque concerne les artistes
Liesbeth Bik, Jos van der Pol, Luísa Cunha, Penelope Curtis, Candida Höfer y Jyrki Siukonen
p. 29-38

Resumen

C’est avec plaisir que je me suis chargée de recueillir ces points de vue. De nombreux artistes auraient pu être interrogés, et mes choix ne seront peut-être pas immédiatement évidents. J’aurais par exemple pu solliciter Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster et Douglas Gordon, pour ne citer que deux artistes qui ont beaucoup travaillé sur les livres. Les quatre participants au débat se sont plutôt intéressés à la forme de la bibliothèque et à sa dimension qualitative en tant qu’espace public. Leur intérêt porte davantage sur l’architecture, la conceptualisation et l’organisation de l’espace et la manière dont l’accès au savoir est facilité. Ils ne se sont rencontrés que de manière virtuelle, ce qui semble particulièrement à propos, puisqu’il s’agit d’un débat sur les bibliothèques, où œuvres et lecteurs se croisent et se mélangent à l’insu des auteurs. Certains croisements inopinés se sont produits. Luísa Cunha, par exemple, se penche sur la Bibliothèque générale de Coimbra, qui date du milieu du xxe siècle, et qui figure dans les photographies de Candida Höfer, à côté de la très célèbre Biblioteca Joanina, qui remonte au xvie siècle. Le contraste entre les deux édifices (situés de part et d’autres de la même rue), démontre que ces artistes apprécient tout autant les bibliothèques « banales » que les bibliothèques d’exception, du moment qu’elles remplissent leur fonction. Chaque participant a répondu à mes questions (et non aux questions des autres artistes). Les résultats ont donc été influencés par la recherche que j’ai menée en tant qu’utilisatrice de bibliothèque.

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Extracto

El texto completo de este documento se publicará en línea en junio 2017.

Vista previa

I was pleased to take on responsibility for this collation of views. I could have asked a lot of artists, and my choice is perhaps not the most obvious. Obvious omissions might include Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Douglas Gordon, to name just two recent artists who have worked a lot with books. But it seems to me that they have worked more with books than with libraries, or with private libraries rather than public. The four artists featured below have all, instead, focused much more on the form of the library and its quality as a public space. Their interest may be more architectural, or more organizational, but they all look at the physical and conceptual shape of the library and the way it represents public access to greater learning.

None of them ever met each other except in this debate, which took place outside real time and place, and perhaps that is fitting for a piece about libraries, where works and authors collide and inter-mingle without their authors’ knowledge. On oc...

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Para citar este artículo

Referencia en papel

Liesbeth Bik, Jos van der Pol, Luísa Cunha, Penelope Curtis, Candida Höfer y Jyrki Siukonen, « Library Users: A Virtual Debate Among Artists on How and Why Libraries Matter to Them », Perspective, 2 | 2016, 29-38.

Referencia electrónica

Liesbeth Bik, Jos van der Pol, Luísa Cunha, Penelope Curtis, Candida Höfer y Jyrki Siukonen, « Library Users: A Virtual Debate Among Artists on How and Why Libraries Matter to Them », Perspective [En línea], 2 | 2016, Publicado el 30 junio 2017, consultado el 23 mayo 2017. URL : http://perspective.revues.org/6762 ; DOI : 10.4000/perspective.6762

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Autores

Liesbeth Bik

Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol [as Bik Van der Pol] have been working as a partnership for some time, and their work tends to ask questions. Questions of society, of conventions, of the established way of doing things. Although based in Rotterdam, they spend a lot of their time on the road, exploring the specific conditions of specific sites in response to which they develop their work.

Jos van der Pol

Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol [as Bik Van der Pol] have been working as a partnership for some time, and their work tends to ask questions. Questions of society, of conventions, of the established way of doing things. Although based in Rotterdam, they spend a lot of their time on the road, exploring the specific conditions of specific sites in response to which they develop their work.

Luísa Cunha

Luísa Cunha lives and works in Lisbon, where she is an established figure within the Portuguese art scene, having taught many of the younger artists who are creating that scene today. Her work is fundamentally based in language, in the practiced use of her voice, of time and space, making for a gentle but insistent enquiry that may unsettle the listener/viewer.

Penelope Curtis

Penelope Curtis is a recent arrival in Lisbon, after working in London, Leeds and Liverpool. Many of the artists she has met over her career have found the library a fascinating subject, and in the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds her work, and the program she led there, were regularly based in the library itself.

Candida Höfer

Candida Höfer is particularly well known for her photographs of libraries all over the world. Based in Cologne, she may well be seen as one of the Dusseldorf School of photographers in the line of the Bechers. She has photographed many libraries, famous or not, and these interior views play a substantial part in an œuvre which focuses on public space and its impact on its user or viewer.

Jyrki Siukonen

Jyrki Siukonen loves libraries, and is deeply informed by them in many ways, as his answers below clearly indicate. Generally based in Finland, north or south, he also spends time abroad, especially now in Berlin. He is as much a library-user as a viewer, and has worked on pioneering translations into Finnish, including works by Leibniz, Swedenborg, and Horace Walpole.

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