Certainly one of the most interesting installations at the current Sydney Biennale is “The Library of Unborrowed Books” (“Section 3” – artist Meriç Algün Ringborg has done it before): in this case all of the books that have never been borrowed from the library of the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (SMSA). This is current at the Art Gallery of NSW until June. The artist’s statement reads:
Libraries are repositories of information, aiding the acquisition and transference of knowledge from the individual to the global level. Algün Ringborg’s work draws attention to the explicit and implicit interests and systems that determine which books are kept in cultural and educational circulation, and which are left to fade into the shadows of history. With a small gesture, the artist gives these neglected titles their time in the sun; as viewers, we witness their existence and perhaps desire to save them from their former fate. The work also warns of the death of the book as a social phenomenon, signalling a time when perhaps all libraries (as long as they continue to exist) may consist entirely of unborrowed books.
A very interactive exhibit: sit there all day and read the books, if you want. Here are two “unborrowed” books that are sitting in my “to read” list – Rick Moody’s The Diviners and Barry Levinson’s Sixty-Six:
(I am wondering what this says about me. I guess that’s part of the point.)