Library 8.6.-8.7.2011, 16.2.-27.5.2012, 26.10.2015-03.01.2016, 12.11.2015-18.3.2016 ...ongoing


site specific installation

In the Collection of Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava and Zachęta Collection Wroclaw Poland

The project has a number of implications. It ultimately builds awareness of the collective input needed to demonstrate a representative institutional knowledge, creating a cognitive map of the gallery’s visitors.

The titles appearing on the spines of books are written down on wallpaper. The whole project reflects the contemporary awareness of people. I may observe books which turn up and also wonder about those which are missing. People also think about non-existent publications. When I was working on the project in Bratislava, a book describing affairs in the world of politics was suggested. Such a book was published next year, so it came to be in my library before it appeared on the publishing market. People are very spontaneous in proposing titles, but there is a certain logic behind their spontaneity, an awareness which is difficult to capture. I have always been fascinated in how one person or society is able to build libraries containing one thousand books. I thought myself to be incapable of that, but one gesture was enough to make it possible and produced such a monumental database of books.


Library was quite a frequent metaphor of the art of the 1990s. Not only in literature, but in fine arts, too (for example Krén’s Passage in the Bratislava City Gallery), it stood for expression of fullness, weight of erudition, memory of the world... Today, library or rather a saturated bookshop of e.g. Panta Rhei type, is more of a negative metaphor, a space of dispiriting informational load, pressure, or overpressure of knowledge. Jaroslav Varga probably operates with library in this sense, or on basis of this impulse. What looks at first sight as a simple and liberating avatgarde negation (library as tabula rasa) is, however, only an initial gesture of the artist. Since, the quintessence of the work is participation: a possibility for the viewer to enter the empty, “zeroized” library and domesticate it with his or her own titles. (Petra Hanáková, 2012)