17 February 2018: The Lost Library – Babel Bookspace @ Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Daniela Cascella & Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide)

3 – 5 p.m.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18, Rotterdam
Email us if you’d like to join! info@printroom.org
We gather at 2.30 at the information desk of the museum (main entrance)

An afternoon of readings, talk and book presentations on resonances and remainders, the transmission / translation of knowledge and the politics of the (altered) library at our Babel Book Space with writer Daniela Cascella and artist Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide).


Daniela Cascella’s new book SINGED starts not with creation, but destruction – a library ravaged by fire. What of the singed debris can be salvaged? Which of the disfigured inkblots deciphered? How much will be remembered? Rewritten, re-invented, re-imagined? Singed, only to sing again? The condition of instability permeating Cascella’s project is already conveyed by the book’s title, Singed, at once a reference to burning/singeing and a mistaken past form of “to sing.”

The title thus posits writing as located at the interference of a burning and a singing, unmaking and making meaning. Writing, not foreknown or guaranteed, is here enchanted through rhythmic events: “Of hearing a rhythm in reading, a song sometime, voices sound words, wh-h mh-m maybe that is why.”

Singed performs a transmission of knowledge in a condition of instability across languages, media and cultures.
In conversation with Kate Briggs, writer and member of the Babel Bookspace team.

Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) will give this afternoon a talk about her library project THE GERMAN LIBRARY PYONGYANG (2015), which was a fictional recreation of an existing German library once opened in Pyongyang by the German Goethe-Insitut in 2004-2009. Germany believed it could help the two Korea’s with the unification process. Chang’s project became a space for critical questions, regarding imperialism, the two parallel histories between Korea an Germany. Several artistic interventions merged with the library looking for peaceful relationships through language or questioning nationalistic politics.

After her project was censored in China as well, we are excited to present a publication that brings together the four original exhibition booklets in German, Korean, English, and Chinese. An additional reader is included with critical reflections as well as documentation of the exhibition and the organized seminar. Design by Dongyoung Lee.

Contributions by Anselm Franke, Changho Choi, Chankyong Park, Chen Tong, Dongyoung Lee, Egon Hanfstingl, Gabriele Stötzer / Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt, Hans Haacke, Henk Slager, Janet Grau, Kyungman Kim, Liu Ding, Louwrien Wijers, Rory Pilgrim, Sora Kim.

Published by Sternberg Press, 2017

Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), The German Library Pyongyang, Guangzhou, China, 2015

Leave a Reply