Exhibition-projects Army of Love and The Library of Unread Books are opening this Saturday, 25 November 2017, 12:00 – 15:00.
Join us at Casco over lunch as the exhibition period for Army of Love and The Library of Unread Books commences with a performance by Heman Chong called Words, They, Wrote at 12:30. This will be followed by a conversation facilitated by Prof. Christa-Maria Lerm Hayeswith the initiators of the Army of Love project-exhibition Dora García and Ingo Niermann, and Heman Chong and Renée Staal of The Library of Unread Books. Lunch will be served from 13:30 onwards. Read the full opening program here and find the event on Facebook here.
In addition to Army of Love with Dora García and Ingo Niermann and The Library of Unread Books with Heman Chong and Renée Staal, Casco created a flexible space titled the Possibility Room (a name borrowed from the National Library in Singapore) that will serve as a hosting space for activities and gatherings associated with The Library of Unread Books. Each project deals with access, excess, and the politics of distribution, and so it is timely that their presentations mark the end of a transition period from Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory to Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.
Army of Love with Dora García and Ingo Niermann:
The project-cum-supergroup Army of Love, initiated by writer Ingo Niermann and further developed by artist Dora Garcíaand many others, aims for intimate fulfillment of justice in the face of patriarchy, racism, and neoliberal, corporo-fascism. “Love soldiers” strive to share all-encompassing love with those who need it, and they are ready to receive love from those who want to give it. The Army provokes the possibility to think about and discuss love as a resource, and examine its conditions and exchange.
The Army of Love exhibition at Casco continues the trajectory of inquiry of the novel Solution 257: Complete Love by Ingo Niermann, the Army of Love film by Niermann andAlexa Karolinski, and the various performative interventions since. But it marks a new iteration of the project in its two-year journey. The exhibition includes new documentary films that follow two major gatherings held in 2017: the Army of Love training camp organized with Casco, and the program “Lo Inadecuado & Su Laboratorio del Amor” hosted by García via the Independent Studies Program (PEI) at MACBA (Barcelona, Spain). The documentaries observe the diverse programs that were led by practitioners invested in the subjects of love, sexuality, and intimacy — how they are organized, and how language and action are transmitted — and capture the curiosity and convictions that the Army of Love project and it’s enthusiasts incite. The exhibition includes material from training camp participants, ranging from text documents and a working code of ethics, to a collectively assembled bibliography that will remain open to addition and amendment throughout the exhibition. Furniture designed by García in collaboration with the architect Olga Subiróssupports the viewing of the films and additional material.
If the Army sees itself as in a constant state of formation, it also provides a solid framework for discussion and debate around common understandings of love and practices for it. The exhibition itself presents an occasion for deeper understanding about Army of Love, in this instance through the influences of García, Niermann, Casco, camp participants, and others. In doing so, it highlights the fact that a sense of camaraderie and duty is required to recondition one’s understanding of love within and beyond personal choice and structural limitations. Army of Love becomes a platform where we can consider how to expand our spectrum of desire, and how to address loss and healing as part of our political struggle. Encompassing indirect experiences from onlookers at past events and direct encounters with the Army more recently, the project and exhibition speculate about the state of the Army of Love, as it oscillates between reality and fiction.
The exhibition Army of Love with Dora García and Ingo Niermann has been developed with support from Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
Read more here.
The Library of Unread Books by Heman Chong and Renée Staal:
With over 500 titles, The Library of Unread Books is a living reference library that traces the perimeters of excess knowledge. Every single book you find in the collection was once private property and has been donated by an individual who did not read it when it was in their possession. Contributors to the growing mobile library receive a personalized library card and a lifetime membership. The Library of Unread Books brings to light these once-hidden-away titles to emphasize shared knowledge. The books, which are accessible to anyone who can visit the library sites, work to create a commons.
Reminding us that a (private) library is both a means to an end and a research tool rather than an accessory, Umberto Eco famously called for an “antilibrary” made up of unread books. The novelist and scholar argued that read books are far less valuable than the unread ones, and that a library should contain as much of what one does not know as finance might allow. “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.” In the case of this library of unread books, access to knowledge is not contingent on finance, and so the books are reverted back to a common resource pool.
Installed in room three of Casco’s upstairs exhibition space, the books will be arranged randomly, in stacks, encouraging visitors to feel at home and re-arrange the books according to individual will and desire. The library will be open during exhibition hours, Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 to 18:00, where an onsite librarian will be available to introduce the collection and receive donations in exchange for lifetime access to the library and a customized library card. Casco also gladly receive books prior to the exhibition at Casco. Feel free to post your book to Casco (Lange Nieuwstraat 7, 3512 PA Utrecht, NL) or drop by during opening hours to deliver it in person. Your library card will be mailed to you during the exhibition period if you donate ahead of time.
Please come by and read an unread book. If you have one, please donate it to the library. Someone else will read it for you.
Read more here.