LIBRARY: The possibility of an anti-library, as well as ideas of anti-knowledge and un-learning, informs a new project in SPACE’s LIBRARY gallery.
"… a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones […] You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly... Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an anti-library."
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
We encounter this provocation in the opening section of Taleb’s 2007 book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Citing author Umberto Eco (who himself maintains an impressive anti-library), Taleb goes on to espouse the virtue of the anti-scholar, “someone who focuses on the unread books, and makes an attempt not to treat his knowledge as a treasure, or even a possession, or even a self-esteem enhancement device.”
For six weeks in November and December, the Anti-Library houses unread books gathered from over 150 invited contributors each asked to present a single book from their own anti-library, as well a short text outlining their selection. The project includes submissions from:
Aaron Angell / ÅBÄKE / Adam Gibbons / Adam Thomas / Adham Faramawy / Alabaster Lynch / Alan Kane / Aleksandra Domanovic / Alex Ressel / Alexandre Bettler / Allon Kaye / Am Nuden Da / An Endless Supply / Arnaud Desjardin / Athanasios Argianas / Barbara Rodriguez Muñoz / Ben Cain / Ben Sansbury / Ben Vickers / Cally Spooner / Charlie Woolley / Chelsea Zaharczuk / Chooc Ly Tan / Clodagh Kinsella / Dan Szor / Dave Hoyland / David Blandy / David Raymond Conroy / Donna Lynas / Duncan Wooldridge / Ed Atkins / El Vonne Brown / Elle Morgan / Ellie Greig / Emily LaBarge / Erica Eyres / Eva Kenny / Ewa Axelrad / Fatima Hellberg / Fay Nicolson / Francesca Gavin / Francesco Pedraglio / Gavin Everall / George Barber / Gil Leung / Giles Round / Gili Tal / Hana Noorali / Hannah Barton / Hannah James / Hannah Perry / Harriet Blaise Mitchell / Harry Burden / Henry Mackay-Bull / Ian Law / Irene Revell / James Prevett / James Richards / Jamie Shovlin / Jesper List Thomsen / Jimmy Merris / Joana Rafael / Jon Nash / Jonathan Allen / Jonny Aldous / Jonny JJ Winter / Leo Cohen / Lorena Muñoz-Alonso / Louis Henderson / Margarita Athanasiou / Maria Fusco / Marianne Spurr / Marie Lund / Mark Essen / Mark Molloy / Mat Jenner / Matt Golden / Matt Williams / Matthew Appleton / Matthew Johnstone / Matthew Richardson / Megan Kelly Rooney / Melissa Gronlund / Mike Sperlinger / Modern Activity / Nabil Ahmed / Nathan Witt / No Fixed Abode / Oliver Laric / Patrick Staff / Paul B. Davis / Paul Kneale / Paul Purgas / Peter Kennard / Philomene Pirecki / Pieternel Vermoortel / Rachal Bradley / Rachel Cattle / Rhys Coren / Robin Bale / Rory Rowan / Roy Ascott / Richard John Jones / Sam Griffin / Sarah McCrory / Simona Brinkmann / Sophie Lee / Steve Bishop / Steve Richards / Stewart Home / Stuart Elliot/ The Hut Project / Thom O’Nions / Thomas Lock / Tim Ellis / Tim Ivison / Tim Steer / Tom Ellis / Tom Morton / Vicky Wright / Yuri Pattison
The Anti-Library is displayed within an environment developed by Fay Nicolson and Oliver Smith, in which all the books and short texts submitted by participating artists are available to handle and read.