The Non-Functional Library

2017- Ongoing

Secret interventions around Sweden, Norway, Spain. 2 public performances:

- Stockholm. 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; my second home when I was living in this city. That was in November 2017.

 

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.

Pictures by Serinyà.

Check a 5 minutes video documentation of the performance. Produced and edited by the Stockholms City library.