180 books in Swedish, organized in alphabetical order, in an Ikea 'Billy’ bookcase

Sweden. 2018

Material: 180 donated or found books. Ikea bookcase 'Billy'. This piece has been selected in Liljevachs Vårsalongen 2019, the Spring Exhibition in Liljevalchs, Stockholm.

‘180 books in Swedish, organized in alphabetical order, in an Ikea ‘Billy’ bookcase’ is part of a larger project named ‘The Non-Functional Library’.

 

'The Non-Functional Library' is an ongoing intervention that I began in 2017 when I secretly started to turn books around in libraries, bookshops, private places, medical centers, schools, churches, shops, in Ikea...

 

I finally decided to make it public, in a performance, in one of my favorite libraries: Stockholm Stadsbibliotek, my second home when I was living in this city. That was in November 2017. You can watch a 5 minute video of the performance here.

 

Books have always been important in my life. They are the place where I feel safe, motivated and inspired. In books, I find a way to understand the world. However, when I arrived to Sweden, I couldn't find in books the answers for my everyday life: understanding a new language, a new social environment, new circumstances and situations. I couldn’t find in books how to book a doctor's appointment, how to walk on the icy streets, how to apply for the work permit… The ordinary life needs to be lived, not read!

 

Therefore, the ongoing project 'The Non-Functional Library' it is not just about books in Swedish that I cannot read, it's about every single situation that I haven't been able to understand.

 

By turning the books around, one by one, I recreate the effort of living in another country and the small steps that I have done during the last years lived here. The viewer can experience the frustration of not being able to reach the information, even if it is very close. When overcoming the frustration, the viewer has the possibility to see other things than the expected, because when you don’t understand or you don't know there is always something else to observe.

Please check the following links for more information.

About Liljevachs Vårsalongen 2019

About 'The Non-Functional Library' project.

Review in 'Dagens Nyheter' newspaper by Ingela Lind, (Pdf in a new tab)

Review in 'Göteborg Posten' newspaper by Magdalena Ljung. (Pdf in a new tab).

Review in 'Om Konst' art critique digital site, by Niels Hebert.

 © 2018 by Mireia Rocher