November 8, 2005 - e-flux - Martha Rosler Library
November 8, 2005

Martha Rosler Library

Martha Rosler Library
until April 15, 2006

e-flux projects 
53 Ludlow Street
New York City

e-flux is pleased to announce the opening of the Martha Rosler Library at 53 Ludlow Street in New York City on Tuesday, November 15th, 2005 at 6pm. Comprising more than 6,000 volumes selected from the books at Martha Rosler’s residence and studio in Brooklyn and academic office in New Jersey, the library will be accessible for public use through April 15, 2006, at the Ludlow street location. Library hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12-6 PM.

1. Library – a: a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (such as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale. b: a collection resembling or suggesting a library.

2. In a letter to Samuel Duncan (the Associate Librarian/Cataloguer of the Amon Carter Museum), Rick Stewart (the Museum’s Chief Curator) recounts a recent trip to Marfa: “The Judd house was recently opened for private tours, and I took one last June. The library is truly impressive, but there are serious problems. There is no climate control, and the books–many of which have not even been taken out of their wrapping papers–are suffering the consequences. Judd bought an amazing array of stuff in many subject fields. Apparently, there are bizarre aspects to his legacy: the books cannot be used.”

3. “Like the suburbs, too, Smithson’s library is entropic, with the multifarious variety of books, journals, and records intermingling and coalescing to form a homogeneous mass. The significance of each of the parts shifts in favor of the meaning they acquire in their relationship to each other and to their owner. Alone as a monad, each item in the catalogue has its own life and meaning. Yet, as part of a larger collection, the books, journals, and records form constellations; this alters their meanings considerably. For instance, the hallucinatory novels of William S. Burroughs–when brought together with historical studies of ancient civilizations, a coterie of psychedelic and glam-rock records and anthropological texts by George Bataille and Claude Levi-Strauss–assume meanings considerably different from those they would take on in other configurations.”
– Alexander Alberro, The Catalogue of Robert Smithson’s Library.

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 (1998-2000). Rosler has published ten books of photography, art, and writing. Among them are Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Essays 1975-2001 (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 will have a solo exhibition at Christian Nagel (Berlin) in January 2006 and at the University in Rennes in Spring 2006.

For press information and images please contact e-flux at 212 619 3356 or

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