Kunstbibliothek Stiftung Sitterwerk St Gallen (CH) – Reading the Library

29 August – 7 November 2021

Teaching the Radical Catalogue – a Syllabus instructors: Lucie Kolb and Eva Weinmayr

in contact with
Amanda Belantara (US), Emily Drabinski (US), Feminist Search Tools (NL), Infrastructural Manoeuvres (NL, BE), Lucie Kolb (CH), Élodie Mugrefya (Constant, BE), The Rewrite (CH), Nora Schmidt (AT), Femke Snelting (Constant, BE), Eva Weinmayr (UK), Bibliothek Wyborada (CH)

Libraries are vital sites for access, activation and dissemination of knowledge. They are places of strict organisation, standardisation and discipline. Knowledge is here highly formalised and ordered into categories, thematically as well as spatially. The exhibition asks about the methods and practices of describing, naming and classifying, focusing on the library catalogue. Based on the text “Teaching the Radical Catalog” by librarian Emily Drabinski (2008), the exhibition proposes addressing the difficulties and structural inadequacies of classification and making them transparent for those using the library. As a central element, a syllabus is developed that illuminates the socially and historically produced orders and hierarchies underlying the library catalogue. Designed as a process, the exhibition and syllabus will be in conversation with practitioners, collectives and projects working on alternative models which propose decolonial and feminist methodologies for reforming normative concepts of validating, preserving and making available. The exhibition is embedded in a three-year project of the Sitterwerk Foundation to further develop the Dynamic Order System, which explores the possibilities of knowledge practices in libraries and archives.

See Teaching the Radical Catalogue–A Syllabus
as it develops online

See info and context of the exhibition
Reading the Library


August 29, 2021, 2–5 p.m.
3 p.m.: A Syllabus (I), Lucie Kolb and Eva Weinmayr
4 p.m.: Lecture-Performance, Matthias Gabi

November 7, 2021, 2–5 p.m.
3 p.m.: A Syllabus (II), Lucie Kolb and Eva Weinmayr with Bibliothek Wyborada
4 p.m: Performative Reading, Delphine Chapuis-Schmitz