November 1, 2007 - Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA) - Martha Rosler Library in Paris
November 1, 2007

Martha Rosler Library in Paris

Martha Rosler Library at unitednationsplaza, Berlin

Martha Rosler Library
November 14, 2007 – January 20th, 2008

Institut national d’histoire de l’art
6 rue des Petits-Champs
75002 Paris, France

e-flux and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art are pleased to announce the opening of Martha Rosler Library on Wednesday, November 14th at 18:30 hrs at Galerie Colbert. Comprised of approximately 7,700 titles from the artist’s personal collection, the Library was opened to the public by e-flux in November 2005 as a storefront reading room on Ludlow street in New York City. It has since traveled to Frankfurter Kunstverein, MuHKA, Antwerp and unitednationsplaza, Berlin. The library will remain on view in Paris through January 20th, 2008.

“In an act of incredible generosity, one of Americas 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

Built in 1826, the Galerie Colbert originally housed fashion and perfume boutiques as well as reading rooms and book or music publishers. It is one of the famous Arcades studied in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades project, which deciphers the 19th-century industrial city through what he considered its paradigmatic architectural form: the glass-vaulted, enclosed shopping passages that riddle the cityscape. This complex is now home to France’s Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA – National Institute of Art History) and the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP- National Heritage Institute).

The mission of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, a public corporation set up in 2001, is to carry out scientific activity and to contribute to international scientific cooperation in the history of art, archaeology and cultural heritage. It conducts research, provides training, and spreads knowledge.

Martha Rosler Library project includes a series of informal public conversations, lectures and discussions which started in New York and continued at all its venues. In Paris the discursive program is entitled “Contemporary art and heterodox knowledge.” Please see program details below.

November 15th, 2007: Martha Rosler & Anton Vidokle in conversation with Stephen Wright
November 20th, 2007: Suely Rolnick in conversation with Zahia Rahmani
December 4th, 2007: Ana Longoni and Graciela Carnevale (Tucumán Arde)
January 2008: Renée Green in conversation with Elvan Zabunyan (exact date TBA)

Admission is free. All are welcome.

For more information please contact:

Marie-laure Allain
Institut national d’histoire de l’art
Service des Manifestations Scientifiques et de l’Edition
t. +33 147 038 929
f. +33 147 038 636

Library hours: Tuesday – Friday 1 pm – 6 pm, Saturdays 2 pm – 7 pm.


Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she now lives, after spending the 1970s in California. She works in video, photo-text, installation, sculpture, and performance, and writes on aspects of culture. She is a renowned teacher and has lectured widely, nationally and internationally. Rosler’s work is centered on everyday life and the public sphere, often with an eye to women’s experience. Recurrent concerns are the media and war as well as architecture and the built environment, from housing and homelessness to systems of transport. Her work has been seen in the Venice Biennale of 2003; the Liverpool Biennial and the Taipei Biennial (both 2004); as well as many major international survey shows, including Open Systems at the Tate Modern (2005). Her work has been included in the Documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany, and several Whitney biennials, and she has had numerous solo exhibitions. She has been invited to participate in SkulpturProjecte07 in Münster. A retrospective of her work, Positions in the Life World, was shown in five European cities and at the International Center of Photography and the New Museum for Contemporary Art (both in New York), concurrently (19982000). Rosler has published ten books of photography, art, and writing. Among them are Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Essays 19752001 (MIT Press, 2004, An October Book, in conjunction with the International Center of Photography), the photo books Passionate Signals (Cantz, 2005), In the Place of the Public: Airport Series (Cantz, 1997), and Rites of Passage (NYFA, 1995). If You Lived Here (Free Press, 1991) addresses her Dia project on housing, homelessness, and urban life. Several other books are in preparation. Rosler has been awarded the Spectrum International Prize in Photography for 2005. The prize was accompanied by a photo and video retrospective, If Not Now, When? at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover and NGBK in Berlin. Her solo exhibition, London Garage Sale, was held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in early June. She had a solo exhibition at Christian Nagel (Berlin) in January 2006 and at the University in Rennes in Spring 2006.

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