Group Search: art in the library


(Click on each project title for more information.)

Anto­nia Hirsch, Anthropometrics November 2006 – February 2007
Marina Roy, Trappings September 2006 – March 2008
Jil­lian Pritchard & Dan Star­ling, Twelve Subjects September 2006 – September 2007
Kathy Slade, Fifty-two Weeks of Transactions at the Lending Library September 2006 – September 2007
Lai­wan, Call Numbers: The Library Recordings January 2007 – March 2008
Mark Soo, Lamp, After UNDP Human Development Index January – July 2007

Group Search was a collaboration between the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, the City of Vancouver Public Art Program, and Other Sights for Artists’ Projects Association.

Library vis­i­tors are look­ing for some­thing; we enter a sys­tem in order to find it, and wel­come sur­pris­ing dis­cov­er­ies within our often-solitary search. We are active, inquis­i­tive view­ers in a visu­ally com­plex envi­ron­ment that includes the archi­tec­ture, the sys­tems of cat­e­go­riza­tion, the stacks and the fur­ni­ture, the machines and sig­nage, the esca­la­tors and glass, and the move­ment of peo­ple within. The artists in Group Search use artis­tic strate­gies of inter­rup­tion, and inte­gra­tion, of embed­ding art­work in or through the sys­tems of the library, divert­ing an accus­tomed search pat­tern and giv­ing pause. Their work infil­trates the col­lec­tions, the elec­tronic cat­a­logues, and the read­ing and gath­er­ing areas as it exam­ines the library as a site for con­tem­pla­tive work, a sys­tem of orga­ni­za­tion, and a sym­bol of democracy.

These tem­po­rary works are pro­duced by artists whose curios­ity, research meth­ods, and for­mal approaches relate to the con­tem­pla­tive and active spaces of the library, to the con­tain­ment and exchange of infor­ma­tion found there, and to the activ­i­ties of search­ing and locat­ing, bor­row­ing, reflect­ing and return­ing, that library users under­take. Diverse in age, cul­tural back­ground and in the media they use, these artists have been invited to develop work to be strate­gi­cally sited within cer­tain appro­pri­ate zones of the library. Whether they work with texts, or cre­ate instal­la­tions or per­for­mances, the artists have a fas­ci­na­tion with lan­guages, lan­guage and orga­ni­za­tional sys­tems, and pop­u­lar and spe­cial­ized cul­ture in all its forms. They pose impor­tant ques­tions about how mean­ing is made, and what counts as knowl­edge in con­tem­po­rary society.

Curated by Lorna Brown

Group Search was made pos­si­ble through the invalu­able con­tri­bu­tions of The Canada Coun­cil for the Arts, the British Colum­bia Arts Coun­cil, the Spirit of BC Arts Fund, the Van­cou­ver Foun­da­tion, Emily Carr Insti­tute of Art and Design and Gen­er­a­tion Printing.