21 September - 7 November 2012, The Irish Cement Room
Opening, Culture Night, Friday 21 September at 7.00pm
The LFTT Library is an interdisciplinary mobile archival project of The LFTT (The Legs Foundation for the Translation of Things). It began its current life in Multyfarnham Franciscan Friary in 2009 where artists Helen Horgan (IRL) and Danyel Ferrari (NY) created a two person ‘hermitage’ within the monks existing library space. Using the books as building material and intellectual ‘fodder’, and archiving the books verbally and orally as they worked, the artists constructed a socially discursive and active space within a context traditionally associated with isolation and private contemplation. The friary and it’s library were undergoing massive structural changes at this time and the artists were later offered the books as a gift, given that the collection was no longer of rational ‘value’ to the Friary during this time of financial and spiritual upheaval.
Since 2009 The LFFT Library has enjoyed many re-animations and continues to do so. For Culture night 2010, artists Vivienne Byrne and Helen Horgan opened the Library to the public from a mobile van in the garden of Bray Public Library. In the autumn of 2011 it underwent a collective editing process with a group of artists and writers, during a three month residency at Broadstone Studios in Dublin. This culminated in its involvement in the Dublin Contemporary Circle Programme. In spring this year it was re-installed by Byrne and Horgan for a six month residential period in a domestic home in Drogheda, the fruits of which became part of the Drogheda Arts Festival 2012. At present it is settling into its new home at The Supafast Building in Dublin and will be travelling from there to Highlanes Gallery this autumn for a further reincarnation beginning on Culture Night, Friday 21 September, 2012.
Activities in the Library to date have included performances in bibliomancy, divination and other magical and ritualistic practice; music sessions; story-telling; film screenings and general open discussion on current expansive notions of the archive and performative practices. Ours is a period that is both obsessed by ritualistically transcribing the passage of time, while at the same time removing all aspect of its materiality; employing mediums such as the World Wide Web, social media and Kindle to ‘spiritualise’ much of our cultural interactions. It is the intentions of The LFTT Library to work in antithesis to this trend by creating socially engaged and physically animated spaces for shared discourse.
The LFTT Library is not a traditional lending library. Items are provided for the purpose of generating artistic works in exchange for the works documentation. This record of practical engagement further becomes part of the expanding Libraries archive. There is no conclusive catalogue for the Library but there is an evolving categorical system which invites intervention from all those who engage with it. This is to encourage people to browse the Library within the locality of its current context and to enjoy the intimation of its eclectic surrounds. The 4,000 volume collection ranges in subject matter from theology to religious and folk mysticism, poetry, literature, Irish folklore, the humanities, popular knowledge and the speculative sciences.
While at Highlanes Gallery The LFTT Library will be functioning simply as a working library within a traditional gallery space. The relationship between the library as a historical collection (with items dating back to the 17th century) and Highlanes Gallery (home to the Drogheda Municipal Collection) is one that is both subtle and multifariously fascinating. It is hoped that both ‘institutions’ will have much to converse about during the
Library’s stay. Also, given the historical context of Highlanes Gallery as a former Franciscan Abbey, The LFTT Library is very excited about reconnecting with its primitive roots. However, given the nature of The LFTT Library as an archive which is forever travelling and evolving with no aims towards ultimate enclosure, it is likely that it’s manifestation in the gallery space will be of a very ‘irreligious’ order.
The Legs Foundation for The Translation of Things continues at Highlanes Gallery until Wednesday 7 November, 2012.