Martha Rosler Library

Comprised of approximately 7,700 titles from the artist's personal collection, the Library was opened to the public by e-flux in November 2005 as a storefront reading room on Ludlow street in New York City. The library will remained on view in Berlin through August 31, 2007.

"In an act of incredible generosity, one of America’s most important living artists temporarily dispossessed herself of the vast majority of her personal library so that it could be made available for consultation. No borrowing was possible, but the eclectic ensemble of books on economics, political theory, war, colonialism, poetry, feminism, science fiction, art history, mystery novels, children’s books, dictionaries, maps and travel books, as well as photo albums, posters, postcards and newspaper clippings could be studied at will. Smart, decidedly political in orientation, often funny, and all over the place (in that way a perfect mirror of its owner), the library is packed with essential reading and titles that even your better bookstores would love to get their hands on. As the product of decades of avid reading, the contents of the library are both the source of Rosler’s work and an installation/artwork that continues many of the concerns – with public space, access to information and engaged citizenship – that traverse her entire oeuvre."
Elena Filipovic, Afterall, issue 15, Spring/Summer 2007

A personal library represents the private sphere of an individual, her way of acquiring and combining knowledge. Accumulation is the result of an intellectual inquiry that takes place in parallel with a more random search, which can lead us to unexpected textual, and therefore mental, spaces. Martha Rosler Library offers the visitor an opportunity to approach this open source of information with her or his own interests, and to create new affinities and connections between the elements of the library that add to more than the sum of knowledge contained in it. The bibliography, currently in process, can be accessed online at http://www.e-flux.com/projects/library

A reading group was assembled to use the library as the basis for a series of informal discussions around books chosen by Martha Rosler and members of the group. The meetings were initiated in New York, and are continued in Berlin. For each meeting, a guest reader will select a text from the library and lead the group.

Berlin reading group program includes Molly Nesbit, Martha Rosler, Tom Hollert, Chus Martinez, Nina Montmann, Joseph Cohen and Jan Verwoert.


Molly Nesbit, Martha Rosler, Steven Wright, Tom Holert, Nina Möntmann, Jan Verwoert, Joseph Cohen and Chus Martínez

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