The Serving L̶i̶b̶r̶a̶r̶y̶


An event, publication, and spatial intervention in the Serving Library at the Exhibition Research Lab (LJMU) in Liverpool. Collaborating artists and writers Judith Deschamps, Alasdair Asmussen Doyle, Johanna Flato, Jorge Simelio Jurado, Louis Shankar and Sophie Tolhurst removed the Serving Library's objects and publications and presented as replacements: placeholders, an archive, a catalog, a substitute, and a Giftschrank*.

*gift + schrank: a poison cabinet, or a place to store controlled substances, including: books.

From the corresponding exhibition essay, "The Serving L̶i̶b̶r̶a̶r̶y̶: IN OTHER WORDS," co-authored by Johanna Flato and Sophie Tolhurst:

"Spatially, The Serving Library's collection of objects has been removed from its semi-permanent position lining the walls and stored away. Having served as a frontispiece for a bulletin or 'Dot Dot Dot' text, each object is embedded in iterative webs of anecdote which the caretaker imparts. A resulting thickness of meta-discourse at once illuminates and obscures the collection. It is this bind of object and meta-discourse that we endeavor to dismantle. By restricting the objects in a 'giftschrank', these dualities of remedy and poison, of remembering and forgetting, of publishing and archiving, can be parsed and investigated. In the resulting void, shorthands stand in for the objects removed. [. . .] 'Placeholders' diagram the spaces previously claimed by the collection objects, earnestly testifying only to the discrete, formal bounds of the lost matter. Purportedly a stand-in until the physical artifacts and their layers of associated content return, the frames and guidelines of the placeholders, rendered in tape, thread, and vinyl, invite a projection of meaning in their own right."


Included works

Related works