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.