Since 2008 Curandi Katz collaborate in an artistic practice that emphasizes a relational ethic, focusing on warmth of relationships between individuals, in community and in relation to institutions. Performing, constructing and actualizing poetic acts invite taking part, ask for activation and suggest imaginary alternatives. Provoking the possibility of reverberation beyond the moment of encounter through storytelling, gifts and the dissemination of desire.
Valentina Curandi and Nathaniel Katz
Artraker / Award Nominee, 2013
CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: QUEENS, NY/USA, SARAJEVO / BOSNIA, HERZEGOVINA
The Pacifist Library is a nomadic library made from recycled and donated materials. In September 2012, on our backs, it traveled around the borough of Queens, New York City. In March 2013, we brought the Pacifist Library to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This library of pacifist texts creates spaces for the exchange of radical ideas in the streets through a reading area, encounters, performances and actions.
For the Pacifist Library, we carry the books on our backs. We modified two vintage aluminum external-frame backpacks into mobile library bookshelves. The library is nomadic and moves with us where we go. We circulate with our books, but the books don’t circulate. We carry with us a straw mat, a stool and a thermos with mint tea. With these simple objects we invite people to utilize the library wherever we happen to be — on the street, in a park, at a local library. With an invitation to browse our collection, we also offer an invitation to join us in conversation. It isn’t easy to anonymously browse a bookshelf when that bookshelf is on someone else’s back. In this way, the library becomes social. A quick look through the books opens a conversation about a title, or the selection, or the books’ weight. It is these moments that we are looking for in the Pacifist Library — moments when the books become instigators.
As we traversed Queens, that diverse borough offered an exciting canvas across which to circulate the Pacifist Library. The borough of Queens is home to immigrants from all over the world, and many of them carry to New York experiences of oppression and social change. Our goal was to encounter people in the borough with a variety of life experiences, and to share a story over a book and some tea.
The Pacifist Library
The Pacifist Library Performance #2 (Sarajevo, BiH), 2013
© Artraker CIC 2014