The Non-Functional Library
Secret interventions around Sweden, Norway, Spain. 2 public performances:
- Stockholm. 17th November 2017, 2 hour performance in the Public Library of Stockholm. (Stockholm Stadsbibliotek).
- Uppsala. 19th of March 2022. In Uppsala Stadsbiblioteket, the city library of Uppsala. Part of the project A Movement to Hold, curated by Alba Folgado. Project financed by Uppsala Kommun. The intervention has been done on the shelves Ny i Sverige, New in Sweden.
The Non-Functional Library is an ongoing intervention that I began in 2017 by secretly turning books around in libraries, bookshops, private places, medical centres, schools, churches...
I ﬁnally decided to make it public by staging a performance in one of my favourite libraries, The Public Library of Stockholm; that was in November 2017. Check documentation 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 moved to Sweden the answers to the new questions in my everyday life were not to be found in books. I needed to understand a new language, a new social environment, new circumstances and unfamiliar situations. Books couldn’t tell me how to book a doctor's appointment, how to walk on the icy streets, how to apply for a work permit… The ordinary life needs to be lived, not read.
Therefore, the ongoing project The Non-Functional Library 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 taken during the years I have lived here. The viewer can experience the frustration of not being able to reach the information, even if it is very close.
Part of the project is the sculpure 180 books in Swedish, organized in alphabetical order, in an Ikea 'Billy’ bookcase.
Pictures by Serinyà.
Check a 5 minutes video documentation of the performance. Produced and edited by the Stockholms City library.