Between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019, second shelf is also presenting a series of interventions in the library and online. These interventions are gestures of care and attention that creatively highlight the presence of the new collection and contextualise its ambitions.
second shelf in situ
second bookshelf and posters (Antwerp)
The second bookshelf creates a physical marker in the library space, and a resting place for the second shelf collection items as they get accustomed to their neighbours in the Academy library.
The arrival of second shelf collection items will also be observed by the proliferation of posters throughout the academy. The posters provide a window into the new collection and celebrate the expansion of perspectives in the Academy’s Library on the nature of artistic identities, practices and purposes.
poster design by Ersi Varveri
- installation (Beeler Gallery)
Artist Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann has been commissioned to conceive new sculptural structures that function as bookshelves for the second shelf mirror site at Beeler Gallery, CCAD, Ohio.
- ex libris
On entering the library each physical book gets a second shelf ex libris inside its front cover. The ex libris indicates the books place within the collection and—by directing you to the book before and after—situates each item within an invisible community.
It won’t possible to source every book on the second shelf list. Sometimes the books are out of print or have become so rare they are unaffordable. Through this process it is possible to observe how the market and publishers affect the formation of libraries—by producing larger or smaller print runs, and through the process of selling off old stock. Books we were unable to source have nonetheless been given a library code, and placeholders on the shelf marks their absence – the ghosts of a utopian canon.
Throughout the project Hinrichs is taking on the technique of Elaine Sturtevant (link to a book in the SHELF)who used mimicry as an art practice to critique the culture of the art world she operated in, and its celebration of lone genius. Through a series of re-drawings of original drawings reproduced in second shelf books, Hinrichs is taking a different approach. Hinrichs is considering the boundaries between on one hand piracy and re-appropriation and on the other note-taking and learning. She is taking Sturtevant’s gestures as a means to reaffirm solidarity and to recognise that in order to generate diverse artistic communities and rich creative dialogues we need wide-ranging role models. These drawings will appear in various moments and situations throughout the project.
Heide Hinrichs, inscription AM 3, 2013, 21 x 29.7 cm
shelf talks and events
Through the second shelf project, curators, artists and others have been invited to give a shelf talk on issues relating to artistic identities, creative practices, institutional representation and memory.
20/9/19 shelf talk #8
second shelf is a collaborative book acquisition project initiated in 2018 by artist Heide Hinrichs and a multi-institutional and international effort to increase library holdings of publications by nonbinary, women and queer artists and artists of color. This shelf talk is one of a series of events that are gestures of care and attention, highlighting the presence of the new collections and contextualizing the project’s ambitions.
second shelf advisors are convening in person for the first time. We invite the public to join our conversation about publishing, libraries, artistic and institutional identities that will inform future publication on the project in 2020.
Discussants: second shelf advisors Elizabeth Haines (historian, University of Bristol, UK), Heide Hinrichs (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp), Marisa C. Sánchez (art historian/curator/sessional faculty, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC)), and Jo-ey Tang (Director of Exhibitions, Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design); with Leslie Jankowski (Director of Library Services, CCAD Packard Library), and Matthew Offenbacher (artist and publisher, Seattle).
postponed to October shelf talk #9
_spectres of a library; establishing debris as debt / Anna Dasović / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
In the context of Second Shelf, Dasović will do a reading of the Antwerp Art Academy’s library own keyword based index card cabinet, a classification system that is still physically present in the library yet that is seen as obsolete. She will pull a selection of subjectively chosen individual index cards from the cabinet in order to talk about how library classification systems are the guiding document between books, librarians and their readers, and how this finding aid facilitates different modes of identification and interpretation. Dasović will argue that the manner in which the index card system was constructed and maintained is connected to the spectre of colonialism. Its physical presence in the library is thus a form of debris that marks a system that is organised according to the logic of colonial times which has since been discredited.
How to understand the physical presence of this anachronistic index system in the library? Nowadays the library of the art academy has transitioned to the widely used UDC classification system, a digital document that provides a guide to its readers. The books in the library, however, are still organised in part according to the previously established order. Dasović’s talk will situate itself in this very space of transition, between the abolition of an indexical past and the potential of its continued physical presence to inform future readership. She will ask how new semantic systems are established alongside revised material relations between these books. What kind of subjectivities could inform the user and hold these books together in meaning in the future?
Anna Dasović is an artist whose practice is focused on the rhetorical structures that make different forms of acute violence visible. What are representations of violence intended to communicate despite their original intentions? What ideological narratives do such representations participate in on a structural level? The production and use of (visual) documents are examined in their quest for truth finding or the social and/ or political perceptions they seek to form. Here, the archive serves both as a physical place for these documents and a metaphor of collective humiliation and remorse. Dasović studied photography, and although her installations and videos retain an element of formal precision, she now works in a broadly interdisciplinary manner. Her methodology involves archival research, fieldwork, interviews, and bibliographic research in the relevant bodies of literature. Anna was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2017-2018. She is a member of Collection Collective, which explores the model of an (art) collection that is simultaneously assembled, owned and run by artists and other cultural producers. www.annadasovic.com
17/6/19 shelf talk #7
Towards a Feminist Practice: notes on listening / Marisa C. Sánchez / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 1pm
Informed by the motivations and focus of the Second Shelf project, this talk pursues questions including: how do we listen? What tone is set by providing a space for something to be heard? Is there a politics of hearing? Emerging from an interest in listening as a mode of feminist practice, this lecture situates listening alongside the voice, which has occupied a primary role within feminist thought and theory. In thinking through feminist interventions made by visual artists since the 1950s and the implications of making minor histories audible, this talk will also discuss pedagogical concerns that arose when teaching a feminist art history survey course of modern and contemporary art taught within an art school setting.
Marisa C. Sánchez is a PhD Candidate in Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her dissertation, The Beckett Effect: The Work of Stan Douglas, Paul Chan, and Tania Bruguera examines the uses of Beckett’s discursive reverberations within these artists’ visual practices, locating the “Beckett Effect” as politically and artistically significant in contemporary art. Prior to her doctoral studies, Marisa was Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Seattle Art Museum, where she curated exhibitions, including love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death – Andy Warhol Media Works, and solo projects with artists Sandra Cinto, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Corin Hewitt, Heide Hinrichs and Mika Tajima.
Sánchez holds an MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she wrote her thesis Globe Trotting: Gabriel Orozco’s Global Nomadism. Her writing and criticism have appeared in exhibition catalogues and journals, including a recent interview with Stan Douglas in Samuel Beckett and Contemporary Art (2017). Marisa has taught art history as Sessional Faculty at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver. She serves as Chair on the Public Art Committee for the City of Vancouver. She is currently a member of Doryphore Independent Curators Collective, Vancouver.
shelf talk #7
7/5/19 shelf talk #6
Slugs, widows, bleed and orphans / Sara De Bondt (Ghent) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
Sara De Bondt will talk about the underrepresentation of women in graphic design, the strategies in her own practice and that of others to counter this, by using examples of her work as a designer, researcher and publisher and that of others who have been overlooked. She will do this by referring to books from the library.
shelf talk #6
2/4/19 shelf talk #5
Echoes and Overlaps / Rachel Dedman (London, Beirut) and Susanne Weiss (Berlin) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
3/4/19 workshop 10 am Library
As part of Second Shelf’s ongoing shelf talks series, curators Rachel Dedman and Susanne Weiss give a lecture around libraries as epistemological sites, and spaces for curatorial inspiration and intervention.
Rachel will introduce the library at Mansion, Beirut—a century-old house which has been conscientiously restored and reanimated by its community, working against the dominant logic of privatisation of public space in Lebanon. Its library is mostly gathered from other abandoned buildings, and has no formal catalogue. A reader cannot arrive with a specific reading list; the library fosters thematic perusal, a constant stumbling across unusual material.
In her exhibition series ‘solo show: not alone’ at the Heidelberger Kunstverein, Susanne invited artists to include in the exhibition the references, things and thoughts that inspired the artworks. Artists Ulf Aminde, Heide Hinrichs and Annette Weisser included personal or private libraries, such as that of Annette Weisser’s aunt, or documents of W.G. Sebald’s estate. What role did these books play in the exhibition’s dramaturgy and how did they inform its further development with the public?
The next day Rachel and Susanne will give a workshop led by the Second Shelf collection. Each participant is invited to choose a small selection of books, based on personal inclination (content, imagery, linguistics, materiality, or emotive potential). Diving into the books’ individual worlds, we seek echoes, overlaps, and intertextual connection across and between them—collectively curating a pop-up exhibition that carves new paths through the Second Shelf library.
Rachel Dedman is an independent curator and writer based between Beirut and London. Current and recent curatorial work includes projects for Ashkal Alwan, Beirut; Kiln Theatre, London; the Jerusalem Show IX; and the Palestinian Museum, Ramallah. Rachel is co-founder and editor of polycephaly.net, and one third of Earth Hold, a collective project currently commissioning radio broadcasts from artists. She writes for Ibraaz, Reorient, and Spike, among many others, and is the author of two books on the politics of Palestinian textiles and dress. Rachel studied history of art at St John’s College, Oxford, and was the Von Clemm Postgraduate Fellow at Harvard University, specialising in contemporary art from the Middle East. She was a participant of Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace Program, Beirut, in 2013/14. www.racheldedman.com
Susanne Weiß is a an independent curator based in Berlin. She has been director of the Heidelberger Kunstverein from 2012 to the end of 2016, where she developed a programme and a series of curatorial formats that follow process-oriented and experimental approaches. She has presented solo-shows with Ulf Aminde, Heide Hinrichs, Melton Prior Institute, Aurélien Froment, Astrid S. Klein, Stuart Sherman and Annette Weisser amongst others. In autumn 2013 she has been a stipend of the cultural academy in Tarabya, Istanbul. From 2009 – 2010 she was working for the Goethe Institut Abu Dhabi in Sharjah at the Sharjah Museums Department. Since 2007 she is a member of the RealismusStudio of the nGbK Berlin. From to 2007 – 2008 she was deputy director of the Kunsthaus Dresden – Städtische Galerie für Gegenwartskunst. Susanne Weiß is a museologist and has been working since 1996 in various contexts and places like London, Oxford, Jerusalem, Wien, Dresden, Sharjah and Berlin. See also http://www.mukimaki.de/
shelf talk #5 / workshop
19/12/18 shelf talk # 4
arms ache avid aeon / Jo-ey Tang (Columbus, Ohio) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 1pm
Jo-ey Tang will speak on the notion of “slow programming”, its porosities, convergences, tendrils, and responsibilities in moving beyond the confines of an exhibition program, as well as the potential ways in which it could operate within and beyond an art and design school. He will speak on his current five-month long season at Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design (Ohio, USA), arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified, which is dedicated to the individual art practices of the four original core members of fierce pussy, the New York-based queer art collective formed in 1991 through their immersion in AIDS activism.
Jo-ey Tang is a Hong Kong-born, American artist, curator, and writer, living and working between Paris, France and Columbus, USA. He is a former curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014-2015), where he conducted onsite research in Southeast Asia and China; and a former arts editor of Brooklyn-based literary journal n+1 (2009-2014). He has curated exhibitions at FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai; and Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris. Heis currently Director of Exhibitions, Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, where he is currently working on season-long programming focusing on the individual art practices of the New York-based queer art collective fierce pussy – Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka. See also http://www.jo-eytang.com/
shelf talk #4
4/12/18 shelf talk # 3
strong female artists in South America / Marina Coelho (Ghent, Sao Paolo) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
Strong female artists in South America: how women encountered in art a space to express themselves in an oppressive context of South America between the 1950’s and the 1980’s. Marina’s talk contextualizes new books added to the library through second shelf. These include books on Lygia Pape, Lygia Clark, Teresa Burga, Ana Maria Maiolino and Cecilia Vicuña, as well as the exhibition catalogue Radical Women from Latin America.
Born in 1978, in São Paulo, Marina Coelho holds a Master in Curating Contemporary Art from the University of Arts of Zurich (ZHDK). In 2012, she founded KUNSTHALLE São Paulo, a contemporary art institution, where she had developed projects with several international artists for the period of five year. She was awarded a scholarship by the Independent Curators International (ICI) to take part of the Curatorial Intensive course, held at the Mori Museum in Tokyo (2013), and has been several times visiting lecturer at HISK, in Ghent, and at the ZHdK, in Zurich. In earlier years, Marina Coelho took part of the museology internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, and worked as exhibition producer at Galeria Leme, in São Paulo. Since February 2017, Marina Coelho is based in Ghent, Belgium, where she is developing a new theoretical research and other international curatorial projects. She has recently been on a research residency in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
shelf talk #3
4/11/18 second shelf launch, Beeler Gallery, CCAD, Ohio
23/10/18 shelf talk # 2
Silence and Glue / Elizabeth Haines (Bristol) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
Libraries occupy a peculiar contradictory place in our imaginaries. On one hand they symbolise organised systems of abstract knowledge, the imaginary riches of a purely mental realm. On the other hand our personal memories of libraries are often very sensual: closed dry air in our lungs, stretching our arms to reach up tall stacks, the smell of the glue in the spine of books, the heaviness of a communal silence. We may well think of libraries as a static store, although their raison d’etre is to put books in motion. And though our encounter with books is often a very private and individual affair—a closed triangle of hand, eye and page—most of the libraries we use are public spaces. They have potent social geographies, as books circulate and create invisible communities with invisible boundaries.
This talk will be a journey through moments in theory and in art where these contradictions are exposed and celebrated. An invitation to think about libraries materially, in terms of scale, substance, architecture, and behaviours.
Elizabeth Haines is a historian of science and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol. Her interdisciplinary interest in the materiality of knowledge production draws strongly on her education in Fine Arts. One strand of her research focuses on mapping and the lived experience of land rights in postcolonial Africa. In another strand of research she has been exploring what scholars can learn about the past by using objects as a historical source. Elizabeth is currently working on projects with the Science Museum Group, Bristol Museums Archives and Galleries, and National Museums, Kenya.
shelf talk #2
16/10/18 shelf talk # 1
Four Eyes Edit – Marthe Donas / Min Park and Anne-Christin Bielig (Antwerp) / Library, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, 6pm
Marthe Donas (1885-1967) – Belgian abstract painter and former student of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp – is one of many female artists which have been overlooked by common art history writing despite her remarkable style and international success during her lifetime. In 2016, the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent dedicated a first retrospective to her oeuvre. Nevertheless, neither the Dutch nor the English Wikipedia-encyclopedia articles mention Donas as a noteworthy alumni of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Even more so, numerous other female artists affiliated with the academy are neither represented on the platform. Through the project Four eyes edit, artists and recent academy graduates, Min Park and Anne-Christin Bielig want to contribute to the acknowledgment of forgotten women of the academy’s history by increasing the presence of female alumni in Wikipedia. The research into the life of Marthe Donas will be the first in a row of contributions to the online encyclopedia with articles about female alumni of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
For the first shelf talk Min and Anne will present the artist Marthe Donas and their project Four eyes edit.
Anne-Christin Bielig is an artist and curator. With her work she aims to create situations and contexts for conversation and exchange. According to her approach, the exhibition becomes a meeting place between art, artists and visitors alike. Her projects, which take the form of exhibitions, interventions or even tools, are always developed through thorough research and exploration of societal themes of which the use of public space, monuments and local history, or the representation of female figures in society are a few examples. Anne is a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
Min Park (b.Seoul, South Korea) is a visual artist who often deals with cultural and historical figures that reflect the contradictory society, in order to suggest different perspectives and awareness for existing meanings. She also creates projects which take place in a public space that question about art and the society. Min works across various media such as sculpture, installation, video and Bachelor from Rhode Island School of Design in Sculpture, USA.
shelf talk # 1