The Unwritten Library: Anna Kafetsi curates a post-Borgesian library of Babel for all
With more than 100 artworks by 25 internationally acclaimed artists on display in four different venues till the 18th of May at Megaron – The Athens Concert Hall, "After Babel", the exhibition, is the second part of the "Unwritten Library" trilogy curated by Anna Kafetsi, director of annexM, Megaron’s centre for the visual arts.
With works from Fiona Banner, Jorge Mendez Blake, Irma Blank, Benny Brunner, Ulises Carrion, Andreas Embiri, Didem Erk, Dora García, Shilpa Gupta, Gary Hill, Vlassis Caniaris, William Kentridge, Julien Levesque, Michael Mandiberg, Rania Bellou, Rivane Neuenschwander, Georgios Xenos, Nina Papaconstantinou, Estefania Penafiel Loaiza, Kyrillos Sarris, Dayanita Singh, Michelle Stuart, Stephanie Syjuco, Thu Van Tran and George Hadjimichalis the exhibition runs as part of, and with support from, Athens 2018 – World Book Capital.
"The second part of the trilogy 'The Unwritten Library' focuses on books and texts through their physical, hybrid, or intangible reality" notes the exhibition curator, Kafetsi. "Literature and its multifaceted translational associations with contemporary art are placed at the centre of this exhibition, which highlights the poetic and political aspects, as well as the potential of the current extensive artistic radicalism, which is often self-determined as literary activism. Objects of desire and main characters generate enchantment and emotion through the exhibits. They cross paths with vision and other senses. Through processes both linguistic and conceptual, visual and performative/discursive, they open an ambiguous, dialogical, often hermetic space of reading. The viewer-reader crosses its boundaries to go beyond knowledge and meaning, sometimes even beyond writing itself, into unpredictable, uncharted aesthetic territories and their poetic and political potentialities."
Conceived as a labyrinth of silent and performing "reading rooms, storage, and display areas," the exhibition makes use of public as well as inaccessible spaces of the Megaron on four different levels, turning the "building and its labyrinthine, secret routes into a metaphor of a post-Borgesian library of Babel."
"Borges’s Library of Babel, 'enlightened, solitary, infinite, perfectly unmoving, armed with precious volumes, pointless, incorruptible, and secret,' always inspires us and, as an open metaphor, enables us to seek out unbiased readings and alternative policies out of the canon, related to suppressed, forbidden, unwritten or unintelligible pages by all the Others. All books have (or claim) space on its sky-high shelves and cases. All the books that have been written, as well as all those that could have, but haven’t. Those that intersect and converse with other books and texts. Those rewritten through other languages. Those that were lost. Their fragments. Unread books. Books impossible to write. And silence, as their common womb."
Conceived as a labyrinth of silence and performing "reading rooms, storage, and display areas," the exhibition makes use of public as well as inaccessible spaces of the Megaron on four different levels, turning the "building and its labyrinthine, secret routes into a metaphor of a post-Borgesian library of Babel."