Event: Living Books at Index #5

16 March 2019, 12:00–16:00

Mette Edvardsen, Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine, photo by Reidar Kollstad

Learning a book by heart. Becoming a book. Being a book. Being read. To offer a reading experience. To offer the time to read. Mette Edvardsen started some years ago a very special collection of books: Books that are alive, living books. With Mette Edvardsen, people in different locations in the world decided to memorize books with the aim to be opened to and for new readers.

If you would like to read the living books you can simply come to Index at these times and see which books are available for reading. You are also welcome to book a specific time by emailing office@indexfoundation.se. We will do our best to help you.

The books present include:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Swedish translation)
Answered Prayers by Truman Capote (in English)
Hakkepølsa by Torgny Lindgren (Norwegian translation)
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje (in English)

The proposal is very simple: come to Index, select a book, find a comfortable spot and sit with the book and start reading. The reader can always stop the book, the book would probably need some time to be the book itself. The intimate experience of reading, the act of listening, the voice -the real voice, and the fact that it is happening here and now appears together with memory. Memory that brings the book to the mouth, memory that makes the moment present forever. It is not every day that a singular experience can happen, it is not every day that a book will open its pages to you and will be there just for you.

The experience of reading is an intimate one. What happens when the book is a human being? What kind of relationship is possible between the book and the reader? At Index is possible to meet some of the books of this collection during some days at the exhibition by Mette Edvardsen. The exhibition at Index Foundation presents this project by Mette Edvardsen and its process. The exhibitions shares a selection of books, the process of memorizing and the temporary presence of the living books themselves to be read by the visitors/readers. The project has over time also developed along parallel tracks. In addition to the ongoing process of learning by heart and reciting from memory, some of the books have been written down from memory, back to paper. These printed books include now the details of the subjectivity coming from reading and memory with all the mistakes that make the books alive.