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Second Shelf

Second Shelf addresses the process of forming a new collection of books in the library of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. The collection documents the work of female, non-white and non-heterosexual artists and related theoretical texts. 

The project will unfold through several strands of activities that explore both the social and material contexts of the new collection. The selection of books will take place through a series of discussions between the project participants that will be documented and discussed on Juxtaposed to the books and discussion will be a series of other reflections and interventions that draw less visible influences and artistic positions to the surface, and offer an alternative canon. 

·    The creation of the second shelf collection will be framed during 2018-19 by a series of lectures and events. This programme, situated in the library itself, will address topics of gender, the impact of books on places, the ways in which artistic production and social reproduction are bound together and the role of educational institutions in producing artistic identities. 

·    second shelf’s alternative canon will be framed through material interventions in the library space and through the Academy: including a sculptural installation, ex-libris markers and posters.

·    A series of drawings by Heide Hinrichs will form a subjective response to the drawings reproduced within the books of Royal Academy library. Hinrich’s drawings will mark, analyze and address the subjective process of influences. 

·    The expanded networks of artistic production and publishing will be considered through exploring the relationship of the second shelf collection to the holdings of other libraries and institutions. In particular, Jo-ey Tang will be developing a mirror site to second shelf in the library at the Royal Academy in Antwerp. in Columbus, Ohio at the Beeler Gallery and CCAD’s (Columbus College of Art Design) Packard Library.

The project is developed collaboratively with Elizabeth Haines, PhD (cultural historian, University of Bristol), Heide Hinrichs (artist, Brussels) Marisa Sanchez (art historian / lecturer Emily Carr, Vancouver), Jo-ey Tang (artist / curator / writer / director of the Beeler Gallery, Columbus, Ohio), Ersi Varveri (artist, Antwerp) and Susanne Weiß (curator, Berlin).