Artists: Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer
Dates: 15 February - 27 September 2020
Exhibition Opening: 15 February, 12.00
Where: 2nd Floor
Notice: this exhibition is extended until October 11, 2020. Due to the current health situation (COVID-19), the visit to the piece/event on the 3rd floor is ruled out, as it involved an interaction with the visitor.
The Infinite Library was founded in 2007 and is an ongoing collaboration between Berlin-based artists Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer. It is an expanding archive of books, made through the recombination of pages from one or more found publications dating from 1890 up to the 1980s. Each book is dismantled, modified, and restructured into new unique volumes. Pictures and pages—momentarily out of order—are brought together to shape yet another whole. The concept for each new volume develops gradually, starting from the content of the original book and the associations that unfold in the process of making. Through empirical, conceptual or poetic criteria, Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer’s ‘infinite library’ questions the plasticity of the printed books as an art form and the innumerable possibilities of appropriating such material by recycling, overlapping, juxtaposing, remixing, merging or altering them—even to the point that the original material ceases to exist, and in effect shifting the way we view them.
Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s writings, in particular his short story ‘The Library of Babel’, the artists imagine the library as a space of all possible arrangements and combinations, serving as a metaphor for the universe, in which humanity is on an endless search for knowledge. Perhaps even going so far as to consider the project as an analogy to the evolution of species, with multiple endings and beginnings, through reproduction and overlaps of origins, cultures and identities. The selective use and decontextualisation of existing content and knowledge also reflects current tendencies. In an accelerating digital world, the handling of the indefinite multiplicity and excessive nature of images and knowledge distribution becomes ever more complex and harder to grasp. The newly created volumes of The Infinite Library question matters of authenticity and authorship, acting as an acutely contemporary reflection on the status of images, on their production, re-production and circulation, and on their capacity to capture and carry information and meanings.