The Library of Unread Books is a growing reference library that addresses concepts of the distribution, access and surplus of knowledge. The collection is home to over 700 titles.
Following an invitation to Chong and Staal to showcase the ongoing international project, the library occupied the Jameel Arts Centre lobby and featured unread books donated by individuals to this iteration of the project in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
This publication captures the ideas and reflections behind this ten-year-long project and includes a text by Heman Chong titled The Book of Drafts, an unpublished piece by art historian and curator Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes and a commission responding to the project by Sharjah-based writer and researcher Saira Ansari.
About the Artists
Heman Chong is an artist whose work is located at the intersection between image, performance, situations and writing. His practice can be read as an imagining, interrogation and sometimes intervention into infrastructure as an everyday medium of politics.
Renée Staal co-founded The Library of Unread Books with Heman Chong in 2016 and has contributed to numerous artist-run projects in The Netherlands.
About Jameel Arts Centre
Jameel Arts Centre is an independent institution dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art to the public and engaging communities through learning, research and commissions. Founded and supported by Art Jameel, the Centre is located in Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
About the Publisher
Art Jameel is an organisation that supports artists and creative communities. Current initiatives include running heritage institutes and restoration programmes, plus a broad range of arts and educational initiatives for all ages. The organisation’s programmes foster the role of the arts in building open, connected communities; at a time of flux and dramatic societal shifts, this role is understood as more crucial than ever.