November 1, 2009 - Rethinking Marxism - Martha Rosler Library
November 1, 2009

Martha Rosler Library

Books at the artist’s home, 2005.

Martha Rosler Library
November 5th – December 10th, 2009

Herter Art Gallery
University of Massachusetts
125a Herter Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-4pm and Sunday 1-4pm
413 545 0976

Rethinking Marxism and New Marxian Times are proud to announce the opening reception for the Martha Rosler Library at Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on Friday, November 6th from 4-6pm.

Comprised of approximately 7,700 titles from the artist’s personal collection, the Library was opened to the public by Anton Vidokle in November 2005 as a storefront reading room at e-flux, on Ludlow Street in New York City. It has since traveled to Frankfurter Kunstverein; MuHKA, Antwerp; unitednationsplaza, Berlin; Institut National d’histoire de l’Art, Paris; the John Moores University, Liverpool; and the Stills Centre, Edinburgh. The Library will remain on view in Amherst through December 10th, 2009, after which the books will be finally return to Martha Rosler’s home.

“In an act of incredible generosity, one of America’s most important living artists temporarily dispossessed herself of the vast majority of her personal library so that it could be made available for consultation. No borrowing was possible, but the eclectic ensemble of books on economics, political theory, war, colonialism, poetry, feminism, science fiction, art history, mystery novels, children’s books, dictionaries, maps and travel books, as well as photo albums, posters, postcards, and newspaper clippings could be studied at will. Smart, decidedly political in orientation, often funny, and all over the place (in that way a perfect mirror of its owner), the library is packed with essential reading and titles that even your better bookstores would love to get their hands on. As the product of decades of avid reading, the contents of the library are both the source of Rosler’s work and an installation/artwork that continues many of the concerns with public space, access to information, and engaged citizenship that traverse her entire oeuvre.”
–Elena Filipovic, Afterall, issue 15, Spring/Summer 2007

A personal library represents the private sphere of an individual, her way of acquiring and combining knowledge. Accumulation is the result of an intellectual inquiry that takes place in parallel with a more random search, which can lead us to unexpected textual, and therefore mental, spaces. Martha Rosler Library offers the visitor an opportunity to approach this open source of information with her or his own interests, and to create new affinities and connections between the elements of the library that add to more than the sum of knowledge contained in it. The bibliography, currently in process, can be accessed online at

Whenever the Martha Rosler Library docks into a venue–be it a shop front, a gallery, or an office above a supermarket–it evolves in response to its new geographical and social location. A repository of knowledge and ideas, it settles, breathes, and lives again as new readers arrive and new discussions begin. In November 2009, the next chapter will commence at Amherst, another unique context.

Admission is free. All are welcome.

Special thanks to Julieta Aranda, Media Farzin, and Tim Ridlen.

Friday November 6, 5:00pm
Conversation with Martha Rosler, Anton Vidokle, and Bosko Blagojevic

Keynote speech by Martha Rosler
Dialogue with artists Ernie Larsen and Sherrie Milner
Friday November 6, 8:00-9:30pm
In association with Rethinking Marxism and New Marxian Times

Also at Herter Art Gallery:
Beyond the Instance of an Ending
November 10th – December 10th, 2009

As art editors of the journal Rethinking Marxism, Susan Jahoda and Jesal Kapadia have put together Beyond the Instance of an Ending–a group exhibition that envisions education as a social movement, as theorized by Antonio Gramsci, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. The artists in the exhibition offer alternative approaches to discourse and the re-structuring of affect. Their works engage a politics of becoming; a process of rereading, recombining and revisioning–what are the potentialities of these engagements?

Participating Artists:
Eric Anglès & John Martin Widger, Sarah Beddington, Alexis Bhagat, Robert Blake, Pradeep Dalal, Yevgeniy Fiks, Benj Gerdes & Jennifer Hayashida, Susan Jahoda, Jesal Kapadia, Young Min Moon, Shreshta Premnath, Harout Simonian, and Claudia Sohrens.

Rethinking Marxism
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