Martha Rosler Library at Site


Yes, its just like a real library. Old chairs, potted plants, indexes and everything.
I assumed it would be all art-related books but its far more eclectic, even some good sci-fi in there.
Only problem is you can’t actually borrow the books but there’s a photocopier at hand so it is a useful resource for staff, students and visitors rather than just a straight-forward art installation.

Martha Rosler Library at Site

Comprised of approximately 7,700 titles from the artist’s personal collection, the Martha Rosler 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 and Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris. The library will remain on view in Liverpool through 14 June and will travel to Stills in Edinburgh in the Fall.

“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, childrens 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


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.

Saturday 12 April, 1pm: Martha Rosler and Anton Vidokle in conversation.

Tuesday 13 May, 6.30pm: Simon Sheikh, curator, critic, and director of critical studies, Malmo Art Academy, Berlin/Copenhagen.

Thursday 16 May, 6.30pm: Centre of Attention is Pierre Coinde and Gary O’Dwyer.

Monday 2 June, 6.30pm: Shepherd Steiner, art historian and theorist, and Maria Hlavajova, curator and director of BAK, Utrecht.

Admission is free. All are welcome.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication including interviews with Martha Rosler and Anton Vidokle by Stephen Wright, and an essay by Elena Filipovic.

Site is a collaboration between Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design and Liverpool Biennial and acts as an interface between students from Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool Biennial and the work of national and international artists.

Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design
68 Hope Street
Liverpool L19EB
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 12-5 pm