‘To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries
and let them tell us how to read, what to read,what value to place upon what we read,
is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries.
Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions –
there we have none.”
Virginia Woolf, How Should One Read a Book, 1925
Throughout history, libraries have been perceived as places where information on life and space are organised, read, and interpreted. Their political significance, however, has at times been underestimated. As in the example of the original House of Wisdom*, libraries are also known as centers of research, learning, and sharing. This concentration and exchange of knowledge makes them important symbols of political power and the formation of cultural identity.
Based on the power of libraries, and Foucault’s notion of the archive as ‘the general system of the formation and transformation of statements’, the curators followed their archival urge and decided to build their own archive-library. To shed light on the increasing levels of censorship on information and the current sociopolitical situation in and around Turkey, they invited artists and researchers to take part in the project. The HouseofWisdom exhibition aims to rethink the political nature of books, whose mere existence is under threat, ultimately asking the question: ‘What could be the outcome of collectively rethinking the notion of the archive, particularly when issues such as censorship and suppression of information are involved?’
HouseofWisdom is an open space, a gathering place. Visitors of Framer Framed are invited to enter the library-exhibition to read, discuss, collaborate, scheme, and exchange knowledge and ideas. Collective Çukurcuma will organise a full weekend of reading groups, talks and presentations in the weekend of 16-17 December, and there will several public events curated by 7 Hills Foundation.
participating artists Mohamed Abdelkarim, Burak Arıkan, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Yael Bartana, Mehtap Baydu, Kürşat Bayhan, Ekin Bernay, Burçak Bingöl, Nicky Broekhuysen, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Cansu Çakar, Ramesch Daha, Işıl Eğrikavuk, Didem Erk, Foundland Collective, Deniz Gül, Beril Gür, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, İstanbul Queer Art Collective (Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergül), Ali Kazma, Yazan Khalili, Göksu Kunak, Mona Kriegler, Fehras Publishing Practices, Elham Rokni, Natascha Sadr Haghighian & Ashkan Sepahvand, Sümer Sayın, Erinç Seymen, Bahia Shehab, Walid Siti, Ali Taptık, Erdem Taşdelen, Özge Topçu, Viron Erol Vert, Ali Yass, Eşref Yıldırım, Ala Younis curators Collective Çukurcuma (Naz Cuguoğlu and Mine Kaplangı)
dates 24 Nov – 7 Jan 2018, opening 24 November, 20:00 – 22:00 location Framer Framed, IJpromenade 2 Amsterdam
opening performance: 20:30 – 21:30, by Istanbul Queer Art Collective: PsychicBibliophiles:WhattheCardsSay
The exhibition space is accessible for wheelchair users via an elevator.