THUMBING THE LIBRARY: GARDENING NETWORKS
Through her work as an artist, writer and art editor, Nina Strand has developed a unique voice in approaching the photographic field within the Nordic countries and beyond. Here, Strand intervenes within the Fotogalleriet’s data collection, by specifically looking into the institution’s available repertoire, prioritising visuality over the linear scripts that usually define the work of a library.
In an age when storage and communication systems have reached their greatest extension in human history, and continue growing in magnitude and defying our powers of imagination, libraries constitute repositories with no mental borders. As our way of tapping into information is constantly changing, currently based on browsing, scrolling and thumbing, the codex is assigned new meaning. Books became literally visual data-carriers of reality and invention, hauling text into images (even when purely text based). Hence, we are bound to ask: What does a library of photography mean today, and specifically for Fotogalleriet? What does its physical and digital future hold? And what would an image librarian look like? Strand delves into this latter self-assigned role and questions about and with the library, to unravel and unveil a personal history of photography here and elsewhere, by accessing and de-accessing a constellation of visual ideas from the past four-plus decades of the institution’s existence as a pioneer viewing space for this medium in Scandinavia. In this project, the private meets the collective eye, and a personal photographic history bears the potential to be a shared visual history for generations of practitioners.