Past exhibitions in the Library

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Events Archive: A selection of events and exhibitions held in the Library, in Special Collections and in the Constance Howard Gallery


Xtremist Supremacist

An exhibition of artwork and research by Samia Malik

Presented by the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths

Kingsway Corridor, RHB, Goldsmiths
9 January – 27 February 2017

Xtremist Supremacist is a response to  research, reading groups and curatorial projects around WOCI (Women of Colour Index), which is held in the Women’s Art Library, Special Collections and Archives, Goldsmiths. With a focus on drawing and graphic slogans, Malik has created a series of artworks that aim to examine and dissemble patriarchal, consumer and imperialist structures.

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Treasure, Dust and Home

An exhibition of photographic works by Yujung Chang

Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives
20th July- 23rd September 2016

This exhibition presents original photographs by South Korean artist Yujung Chang, a Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art Alumni and winner of the Goldsmiths Warden’s Purchase Prize in 2007. The photographic works document the excavation process at the site of Silsangsa Temple (established in the third year of King Heungdeok’s reign during the Silla Dynasty in 828 A.D.) and the surrounding area of Jirisan Mountain, South Korea, from September 2014 to August 2015.

Chang recorded the gradual uncovering of the site in this series of beautiful photographs. Her relationship with the place and local people developed during this process, and lead to her interest in others’ views on the site. She commissioned the researchers from the Research Institute of Buddhist Heritage, Buddhist monks from the Temple, villagers and Buddhists working on the site to record their views too. The resulting collection of photographs were published in her book, A Thousand Years of Dust reveal views of the archaeological site by many people to whom it had different significances.

A Thousand Years of Dust is part of the Goldsmiths Library Collection and will be available to borrow after the exhibition finishes.

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A Remedy for Rents

Darning Samplers and Other Needlework from the Whitelands College Collection

A Remedy for Rents showcases a rare collection of exceptionally fine needlework by working-class women in the last quarter of the 19th century. As students at Whitelands College, the first all-female teacher training college, now part of the University of Roehampton, the women were training to teach in elementary schools for working-class children and their needlework focused on the production and repair of simple garments and household textiles. Yet such everyday purpose belies the creativity and skill displayed in their work and the exhibition takes its title from a quotation by John Ruskin, a patron of the College, who marvelled that ‘work of so utilitarian character’ could be so beautiful.

The centrepiece of the exhibits, all from the Whitelands College archive, is an album compiled by Kate Stanley, Head Governess from 1876-1902, containing 26 darning and 17 plain needlework samplers worked by students, the stitching on which is extraordinarily fine. In addition, a number of loose samplers are displayed together with a variety of small-scale practice garments, also of a high standard, made as an economical and time-saving way to learn techniques.

Whitelands College students went on to teach at schools and training colleges across the British Empire and so the ideologies, techniques and style of garments they learned at Whitelands entered the minds and homes of millions of poor and working-class girls. The exhibition, therefore, not only offers a rare opportunity to see needlework by non-elite Victorian women, but illuminates also the history of working-class dress, female education and gendered roles, experiences and expectations in 19th-century Britain and beyond.

19 January 2016 - 10 March 2016

Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-5pm

Location: Basement, Deptford Town Hall Building. Constance Howard Gallery.

Forging folklore, disrupting archives 15 May – 15 July 2014

Exhibition and special events at the Constance Howard Gallery

As part of the Goldsmiths Graduate Festival, Constance Howard Gallery hosts a unique exhibition of the Goldsmiths Textile Collection and the Lloyd Collection of east European materials. This collaborative project brings together anthropologists and artists to turn the gallery into a lab for experimenting with ‘folklore’. We have joined forces in rethinking the archive as an open resource and a site of contestation. The value embedded in folk objects is questioned as we experiment with textures and patterns.

You can follow three paths inside the space of the gallery. One uses details from the archive, in the form of photographs, inviting the possibility of re-assembling the archive. A separate project brings into the gallery objects that sit in tension with the space of the archive. A third perspective uses the folk pattern as a springboard for innovation and forgery.

15th of May Exhibition opening and Folk dance afternoon

20th of May Roundtable discussion and reception
Magda Buchczyk, Gabriela Nicolescu and Alexandra Urdea in conversation with their guests, anthropologists and artists. We will be asking questions about the politics of the archives and the value of objects and patterns, about the utopia of ‘folklore’, and the attempt to reengage with materials.

Betty's carrying Companion, Then and Now

Contemporary purses from Betty's Revenge and archive purses from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection

Betty's Revenge is exhibiting contemporary bags and giant 'Betty' shopper, alongside beautiful purses that have been selected from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection. Location: Special Collections Gallery at the Library.

Cost: Free. Opening hours: 10 am - 6pm Monday to Friday, 24th February 2014 until the Easter break. The Private View is at 5.30 - 7.00pm on Thursday 6 March. All are welcome.

Celebrating the achievements of womenin science, technology, engineering and maths.

Daphne Oram and Dorothy Benson Displays 

To celebrate Ada Lovelace day (15th of October 2013) Special Collections & Archives, and the Constance Howard Gallery are exhibiting archive material from the Daphne Oram and Dorothy Benson collections.

Who was Ada Lovelace?‌ ‌Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer, and collaborator on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. More information on events celebrating Ada Lovelace Day can be found here.

Daphne Oram Was a British composer and electronic musician, the creator of the ‘Oramics’ system, a technique used to create electronic sounds, and whose archive we hold here in special collections.

Dorothy Benson Was a pioneer in sewing machine design and application and demonstrator for Singer Sewing Machines, her work can be found in Goldsmiths Textile Collection.

AMIW 2012, September 2012-March 2013

An eleven-week programme of visual art and experimental music at the Women’s Art Library/Goldsmiths and Cafe OTO - London

Curated by PhD student Carla Cruz. ‌The video lounge featured 15 videos by women artists and can be viewed in the Special Collections study space during office hours. Bean bags provided. Workshops scheduled for Oct 10, Nov 2 and 9 and Dec 5.

For more information please visit this link.

Advice to women in management 5 October 2012 - January 2013

An exhibition of work by Lesley Kerman examining the position of women in the hierarchy of institutional management. In the Library Special Collections room and the Kingsway Corridor.

Advice to Women in Management is a cautionary tale, starting with a briefcase found floating in a river that contains papers destined for an Academic Board meeting of the institution the artist has recently left. Created over several years, this exhibition brings together the conceptual objects, etchings and video work that were inspired by this unnerving finding.

Desert Islands

Art Writing Library Launch

12th December 2012 6-8pm, Prokofiev Room, Goldsmiths Library, University of London.
With reading lists by Maria Fusco, Althea Greenan, Rosanna McLaughlin & Melissa Hobbs, Mary Rinebold, Beatrice Schulz, and Antonia Williamson.
Talks: Ad Im Nnoo Rsswy (In So Many Words), Mary Rinebold and Multiple Forms of Constraint, Beatrice Schulz.

Aindreas Scholz installation in the Library foyer, ongoing

'THINK' is a work in progress and has been inspired by artists who focus on filling entire spaces by various means, creating - for example - hybrid forms which are located somewhere between art object and its wider semiological meaning. As art writer Susanna Davies-Crook puts it: 'Each [sign] holds a statement which in the fleeting moment of comprehension removes or distracts the reader from the environment'.

Artwork title (image on the right): DO NOT THINK, 2011. Dimensions: 16.5X17.7in each. Material: acrylic, tape, spray paint.

Burnt Breakfast and other works by Su Richardson

Curated by Alexandra Kokoli, 6 July - 9 September 2012

Simultaneously celebrating, exploiting and subverting the connotations of feminine craft skills such as crochet and embroidery, Su Richardson’s home-made objects explore domesticity, femininity and their mutual implication from a distinctly feminist point of view.

The exhibition, ‘Burnt Breakfast and other works’, includes the iconic crocheted ‘full English’, in which the womanly skill of crochet is used against the grain, to express in a humorous manner a growing dissatisfaction with patriarchal gender roles, and also to challenge the hierarchical division between art and craft.

“Cooking and crochet cancel each other out, making this Breakfast into a mockery of more than one aspect of housewifely duties,” explains the curator Alexandra Kokoli.

To mark the opening of the event to the public, the College hosted ‘Counterculture Crochet’; a Q&A with the artist, presentations on the work and its contexts by invited speakers Hazel Frizell, Janis Jefferies and Freddie Robins, and an open discussion with the audience (6 July, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths.)

Su Richardson’s work marks the intersection of feminist aesthetic, philosophical and political preoccupations. This exhibition reveals Su Richardson to be a key precursor to the recent and fast-expanding reclamation of craft techniques in fine art practice, exemplified in the work of Freddie Robins, Tracey Emin, Craig Fisher and Gillian Cooper among many others.

A string of exhibitions created a Feminist Art Spring, and Summer, with the Women's Art Library and Constance Howard Gallery hosting various exhibitions and exciting group meetings behind the scenes.

Clare Gasson, Living with Make: Art in the Archive

An exhibition in Special Collections, 28th November 2011 – 4th May 2012.

As the recipient of The Women's Art Library/Make and Feminist Review research bursary 2011 Clare Gasson produced a performance and exhibition based on her exploration of the Women's Art Library archive. Her research focused on manifestos and activating the archive and has resulted in a sound piece in which the materials are vocalized, 'The River', presented at the South London Gallery on 30th November.

For the exhibition at Women's Art Library Gasson has made a series of posters and sculptures. The posters employ the rough cut and paste feel of the original Women's Art Library newsletters. The sculptures entitled 'The Performers (2008 - ongoing)' – a series started in 2008, embody here the energy around performing manifestos – the passion that exudes from that point where a manifesto is the only way forward – to change the status quo.

"What escapes": a visual art exhibition by Rose Frain

An installation referencing slippages of reportage and traces of memory and experience in Afghanistan at the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion, and Alexandria/Egypt since the revolutionary uprisings of early 2011.

Citing a conflation of precious resources and human vulnerabilities, dream-like condensations and reflective assemblages posit a reconsideration of the mythic structures of hyper-masculinity, and the establishment of democratic civil societies. Osama bin Laden: from his years in a 'psycho-acoustic bubble' to assassination by an infidel’s bullet in Pakistan, May 1st 2011. Complexities of the presence of the British Armed forces in Afghanistan. Cairo's Tahrir Square, the site of resistance and counter-resistance. 'What escapes?' Works are installed in a museum format at two sites: The Library Special Collections Reading Room and the Kingsway Corridor.

Their Past, Your Future - The Bani Hamida Weaving Project, Makawir, Jordan

An exhibition by Dr Sue Jones, 14 October - 30 November, Constance Howard Gallery.

This exhibition is about conversations over time involving materials. What narratives are produced through the relationship of people and objects?

The Bani Hamida Weaving project in Jordan began in 1985 with support from Save the Children and is still operating as part of the Jordan River Foundation, chaired by HM Queen Rania. Over a 25 year period the rug production has become interwoven in many, and new ways with the lives of this group of Bedouin women. The Weaving Project has been a contested and changing arena for three generations of women – involved with external development agendas and funding requirements, the expansions and contractions of markets for these goods, many changes in design and the increasing technical focus of rug production. In this ebb and flow the Bani Hamida women have used their craft/artisan skills to try to fulfil their aspirations, particularly for educating their children – girls and boys. On the opening day of the exhibition the Anthropology Department is hosting a one day seminar – ‘Material Matters’, considering the narratives produced from the relationship of people and materials linked to a number of countries – Romania, Jordan, Mongolia, Iran, Germany, Kuwait, India, Lebanon and Trinidad. In addition the Bani Hamida weaving project will be one of the contributions to a special edition of the academic journal ‘Textiles’ in 2012/13.

Their Past Your Future PDF poster

'Redirection and network timeout' Jenny Steele

A solo exhibition by Jenny Steele at the Constance Howard Centre showcasing works from her 2011 residency at the 501 Artspace, Chongquing, China for the first time to a UK audience.

6 September - 4 October, Constance Howard Gallery. Jenny Steele's project researched how locals navigate physical and digital space, particularly exploring issues of governmental censorship and control. She also investigated how ancient Ming Dynasty walled city layouts reflected the current hierarchical control imposed online by the government of the People's Republic of China, continuing to control the inhabitants' movements in both digital and physical space. An artist's talk was given on 4 October.

Wedding Bellas by Nela Milić

21 June - 2 August, Constance Howard Gallery

Wedding Bellas is a photographic project about female desire for roots and stability. It explores a wish to belong. It acts as a comment on aging, migration and marriage, but can be a record of an individual’s urge to hide personal problems, as a human need for dressing up. The project presents brides passionately attached to the objects of their marriage. That is evident from the photos - women in wedding dresses have a physical connection with their rooted fellow. Wedding dresses are surrounded by other wedding iconography, but the image is not a joke – it is a serious matter - an event of desperation and illusion shot as on a true wedding ceremony. The photographs are stories of twelve women who all found themselves at different points in their lives at the time when they refused to leave. Many have been rejected by their partners; by their landlords; by their employers; but the majority have been refused permission to stay in the country by the state. The women showed an extraordinary resilience and resourcefulness in the face of sometimes all of these rejections happening at once and the burden of so many problems caused them to escape into fantasy by opting for equally stable, rooted and good looking ‘Queen’s subjects’ – a lamp post, a tree, a traffic sign – London landmarks... With the mix of the text and image we trouble the perception of migrants and refugees in the UK today. This project is funded by the European Cultural Foundation, with women from Migrants Resource Centre and females who wanted to join them. Constance Howard Centre for Textiles, Goldsmiths, Deptford Town Hall Basement, London SE14 6AF. There will be a reading from the ethnography of the project by the Embodied Narratives Group during the Private View on the 21st June. Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.00 am – 4.30 pm, 21st June – 2nd August 2011. Cost: free.

Wedding Bellas PDF poster 

Obituaries: distinction and democratization by Bridget Fowler

Department of Sociology/Methods Lab Event with the Constance Howard Centre for Textiles.

Bridget Fowler is Professor of Sociology  at University of Glasgow. She is also the author of The Obituary As Collective Memory (2009), Reading Bourdieu on Society & Culture (2000) and Pierre Bourdieu and Cultural Theory (1997). The free event wlll take place on Thursday 10th March 2011 2-4pm.

Please click here for the PDF poster of the event: Obituaries event poster.

Live weaving

by Jess Smulders-Cohen, 15th to the 24th February.

There will be live weaving by Jess Smulders-Cohen in the Constance Howard Centre on Tuesday mornings and Thursdays 10-4 (with a lunch break). Visitors are welcome to drop in.

Revealing, a library soundscape

Jenny Keutar, artist-in-residence in the library, November - December 2010

Goldsmiths Library is a place where sonic ambience can be observed in great richness. Its architecture and spatial structure constantly produce sonic changes, which effect our aural perception. The walls and doors, shelves and corridors almost seem to build an aural labyrinth.

The aim of this exhibition is to reveal the acoustics of the library, by drawing attention to the everyday environmental sounds, even those which are unhearable. The library visitors are sent on a sound journey, it is hoped they will become conscious of the diverse sonic atmosphere. This could take place in a single moment, as an illustrated sound catches the attention or connects with a personal memory or emotion. It also may be a more subtle realisation that takes place over a longer period of time. Given the impression of spatiality, the movement of time and the flows of communication within the library, the audience is challenged to reflect, question and wonder about the library soundscape. This exhibition includes several low and high-tech installations, which are arranged throughout the Rutherford Building.

Whistler's Oriental Textiles: an exhibition of fragments

Constance Howard Centre for Textiles, 25 October - 23 November, open Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays.

Artist James McNeill Whistler and his wife Beatrix were both heavily affected by the many Oriental influences in the form of prints, ceramics, furniture and textiles arriving in the West from China, Japan and other Oriental countries in the late 19th century. The collection of textiles features in the exhibition consists of cloth fragments reported to be from the home and studios of the Whistlers. The textiles date either from the period contemporary with Whistler or earlier.

These high status fragments come from China, India and the Ottoman Empire. All of the textiles have a strong aesthetic appeal, many of them radiating and diffusing light through the use of gold and silver thread and the luminescence of pure silk. Whistler is famous for his paintings in oriental style with their conveyance of light, tone, mood, sinuous line and flowing composition expressed through colour and surface. Beatrix Whistler’s paintings of birds in oriental style, often featuring on contemporary furniture, use metallic painted or gilded backgrounds. Her compositions reflect Japanese style and are fresh and full of expression, echoing the excitement about light reflective surfaces so popular at that time.

Whistlers Original Textiles

Christine Risley Purchase Prize 2010

Presentation of the award to Lenka Horokova Thursday 11 November at the Constance Howard Centre for Textiles, 6-8pm

Lenka Horokova has been awarded the prize for her textile work 'Ideology' and the performance 'After The Fall', which she will perform at the preview event.

Andrew Salmon MD of Creative Exhibitions Ltd presented the Award, introduced by Mary Nixon, Goldsmiths Librarian.

More about The Christine Risley Award.

Southern African Seminar Series

South Africa and Black British Anti-apartheid Solidarity with the Southern African Liberation Struggle 1970-1990, 5 November 2010.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Shula Marks OBE, FBA (Historian)

Panel 1: The Anti-Apartheid Movement and Black Communities Chair: Professor Harry Goulbourne (South Bank University) Panellists: Chitra Karve (ACTSA Chair, Solicitor, Human Rights Activist), Suresh Kamath (ACTSA Treasurer), Glenroy Watson (Trade Unionist), Dr. Elizabeth Williams (Goldsmiths, Historian/Librarian)

Panel 2: Black Solidarity with the Anti-Apartheid Struggle Chair: Dr. Hakim Adi (University of Middlesex) Panellists: Alex Pascall OBE (Writer & Broadcaster, Oral Historian), Onyekachi Wambu (Author & Journalist), Bini Brown (Community Activist) Kimathi Donkor (Artist & Activist)

Guest convenor: Dr. Elizabeth Williams (Goldsmiths)
Seminar convenors: Dr. Wayne Dooling (SOAS), Dr. Rebekah Lee (Goldsmiths), Dr. Hilary Sapire (Birkbeck).

For more information on the Southern African Seminar events, and the Working Papers Series, please visit this link.

Kente Weavers of Ghana

a talk by Jessica Smulders-Cohen

The Constance Howard Centre for Textile offers an insigth to the tradition of kente. The event takes place on 14th October 2010.

Kente cloth, known as nwentom in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana.

Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire, Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region) and among Akans. Kente is also produced by Akans in Ivory Coast. Lastly, Kente is worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans. It is the best known of all African textiles. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth.

Kente weavers PDF poster

Luminoxa, Nat Urazmetova - Performance

Digital Media Technology and Cultural Form MA, 16 September - 7 October.

Graduates working at the intersection of theory, practice, art and interactivity. Multi-media presentations explore the shifting boundaries of new media via image making, writing and a variety of digital practices. Merging analogue and digital modes of production the artists produce accessible new media artifacts grounded in critical research that responds to current modes of both perception and communication of ideas.
Participating artists are: Alejandra Chaker Mesa Natalia Urazmetova Roman Knipping-Sorokin Rebecca Miller Viviana Miliaresi Constance Howard Centre and Library Special Collections.

Speculative Objects

Curated by Sophie Carapetian, MFA, 12/6/2010 - 20/6/2010

An exhibition concerned with value, engagement and history.

Doing the needful

Susie Vickery 14 June - 15 July 2010

We read about others in books, see films charting their lives and look at photographs of them. But how to give more texture to what they have to say? Susie Vickery’s latest body of work looks at people of the cloth, those who work with fabric every day. She literally adds texture to their images with fabric appliqué and embroidery. Susie has photographed and interviewed tailors, garment factory workers, fabric salesmen and ironing wallahs in India, China and the United Kingdom. Glimpses into their lives were then recorded using the materials and techniques of their work, including khadi, the hand-woven fabric of India, and Tibetan brocade.

Susie worked for many years as a theatrical tailor until she moved to Nepal and studied embroidery, which led to a degree in embroidered textiles, completed in 2009. Susie’s previous work ‘On the Melancholy of Tailors: An essay by Charles Lamb’ won the 2009 Christine Risley Award, which consisted of £500 plus two exhibitions. Doing the Needful was the second of these exhibitions.

Allow the gaps!

Sandra Erbacher, 1st March - 30 April 2010

Artist, curator and Goldsmiths graduate Sandra Erbacher investigates the resonance between language, learning and power through site-specific interventions in the library building.

'Allowing the gaps to speak' asks questions about the function of academic discourse itself and tests the architecture of the building as an articulation of institutional language.

'In her shoes'

by Oriana Fox and Lydia Maria Julien 

An art exhibition in the Women's Art Library.


22nd-26th February 2010

Artists Oriana Fox and Lydia Maria Julien talking about their experiences as female artists.

Launch Pary: Monday 22nd February 5pm.

On the Melancholy of Tailors: An Essay by Charles Lamb

Susie Vickery, 2nd - 25th March 2010

Exhibition, animation and performance. Winner of the 2009 Christine Risley Award, Susie was selected from the Graduate Showcase at the Knitting and Stitching Show organised by Creative Exhibitions Ltd. It is the first time that the award has been offered outside of Goldsmiths and in partnership with Creative Exhibitions.

Susie Vickery will be having a 2nd exhibition at the Constance Howard Centre for Textiles in June 2010.

Pirate paths

A project By Chris Rea

In the library, main sequence, and beyond.

December 2009 - January 2010


'Once More With Feeling' 27th June 2009, Tate Modern

Organised by Oriana Fox, recipient of the Art in the Archive: Living with Make Bursary 20

Presented at the Tate Modern by the Women's Art Library/Make and the Feminist Review, the evening consisted of new work and a series of tableaux vivants illustrating an oral history of feminist performance art.  There were also performances by invited artists and the event was accompanied by a publication 'The Moon'. Copies of this are still available from The Women's Art Library. Contact us and we will post a copy to you.

Research carried out with the Art in the Archive bursary formed the basis of Bodytracks, an interactive website developed by Oriana Fox which ‘tracks’ the history of feminist performance art. It is a timeline linked to descriptions of live acts alongside video and photographic documentation and links to further information.

Image on the right: Oriana Fox, Untitled (after Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes)

Micro-pages, curated by Abigail Thomas

A touring book art exhibition on microfilm, 2nd November - 11th December 2009

The curator, Abigail Thomas believes "'Micro-Pages' will start a conversation about the issues surrounding the display of artists' books.

A series of selected artists' books have been turned into a reel of microfilm for a touring exhibition. The work will be accessed through microfilm readers in participating libraries and archive centres. The books selected relate to the history of artists' books, archives and libraries, or challenge the preconceptions of the future of preservation and display."

objects (in)sight
A project to develop object-based research skills and foster cross-disciplinary thinking
Each session, academics or practitioners from different disciplines discussed how they would approach research into an object from Goldsmiths Special Collections & Archives or Textile Collection.
Sessions included discussion on vinyl from the WRPM (Women's Revolutions Per Minute) collection with speakers Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths Dept. of Sociology), Lisa Busby (Goldsmiths Dept. of Music);  parasols from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection with speakers Ruby Hoette (Goldsmiths Dept. of Design), Christine Checinska (UEL School of Arts and Digital Industries) and sewing patterns from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection with speakers Vivienne Richmond (Goldsmiths Dept. of History), Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths Dept. of Anthropology) and Sue Dray (London College of Fashion, Fashion Illustration).

Art Writing Library

But I do like the chunky furniture and the neon lights and all the whispering and the hushed voices; it really feels like a library sometimes.
 -Tirdad Zolghadr, Plot

The Art Writing Library was created by the Library and MFA Art Writing, Goldsmiths College, University of London - in collaboration with Mary Rinebold and Beatrice Schul - as a  collection for housing, describing, providing access to, and preserving materials situated within the terrain of art writing.

For the duration of one year, the Art Writing Library was housed in a dedicated cabinet. It began with a small curated collection of approximately one hundred books, films, sound pieces, visual materials and ephemera, chosen either as examples of art writing, or as pedagogical resources which outline art writing in its current form. Providing a site for discourse on art writing as a field of study, and as a practice, the Art Writing Library hosted a series of text-based exhibitions within the cabinet, as well as a public programme of discussions, performances, and screenings.  

A neon sign designated the Art Writing Libary as a space claimed for use, acknowledging itself as occupied rather than owned by the discipline of art writing.  An  Art Writ­ing Library bookplate, or ex libris, was created on commission by designers Goda Budvytyte and Si­mone Koeller, and inserted into the verso cover of each book with a place-holding ribbon that served a double function as both a bookmark for readers, and a clue for future scholars as to its origin.

The open ended cataloguing system, devised in consultation with galler­ists and archivists Rosanna McLaughlin and Melissa Hobbs, required readers to approach the Art Writing Library as a whole collection rather than as individual pieces. A modest table and chair requisitioned from the main library was placed next to the Art Writing Library cabinet for viewing materials, reiterating the contingent nature of the collection.

Thus the project marked art writing as a temporary sign placed over texts we consider to be our contemporaries, and post­humously over texts we adopt as our precedents. Both an index and a studio, the event and its recording, the thing and its doing, the Art Writing Library existed as both noun and  verb, and as an assemblage of examples that described a geography, pushing art writing and its Library to the limit of their practices.

The Art Writing Library collection has now been dispersed into the DEWEY system of the greater Goldsmiths Library with its hub at 709.040781 and 709.04078192 on the second floor.

With special thanks from the Goldsmiths Art Writing Library to Sarina Basta, Sara Carson, Ben Hanly, Maria Fusco, Kunstverein NY, Adrian Rifkin, David Senior, Antonia Williamson and the Goldsmiths Library, and to Chelsea Zaharczuk and IBID Projects.

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