Liquid Library Publication
liquid library is a circuitous journey of knowledge. a process of intuitive associations, thoughts and interventions stretching out rhizome like, touching on different pockets of history.
liquid: a substance that flows freely but is of constant volume, having a consistency like that of water or oil. (the liquid song of the birds// looking into those liquid dark eyes)
who is asking? where is this taking us?
untangible stories, age wrinkled paper, intricate details in science manuals, veins pouring outwards, the patterns in a stone outside, ripples in the sea, euclid’s geometrics, a game of chance, the illiterate wind leafing through a book of mathematics: the sheer logic and indeterminacy of it all.
looking at this book (these books) we understand the way things connect: same but different. reading this we read you, reader. one page transports you to another, and your thoughts take you elsewhere, to an irregular understanding of history and its arte-facts.
there is an a-historical non-linear approach’ resulting in the pleasure of small discoveries, hidden moments, and the sheer materiality of the finds that come your way. the emotive is posited against the scientific, the irrational with the rational, the mathematical with the intuitive. hughes allows the flux of her investigation to carry her on, not stifled by categories or modes of thinking, her research has its own internal vigour and discipline.
we find the point where disciplines intersect. marcel duchamp’s wedding present to his sister in 1919, ‘the unhappy readymade” was a set of directions to his sister, to place a geometry textbook and expose it face up to the elements. the conflict between human knowledge and the inevitability of the forces of nature which corrode and destroy the logic that man builds is contextualized by a both emotive and simultaneously humorous title. a wedding game where no one wins, but everyone is compelled to play, a game of logic, an unhappy twist of fate (or faith), an allusion to a work of which there is no physical record. these conflicts come to play and we watch the geometrical pages form patterns, let loose in the sea, under the Greek sun, letting go.
knowledge has its own twisted fate – reference books are tied together with elastic bands – tense, structurally contained, as if the constraint is counter-intuitive to the forces of nature. photographs of the museum collection are twisted and turned, highlighted or distorted so that each object takes on a new dynamism, re-contextualizing its original significance into new form.
rowena hughes looks to the museum as a place where objects are stored: static. hughes introduces movement, cutting through historical references and fields of knowledge. diaphanous layers are placed on display cases, palimpsests of thoughts and references are irreverently interlaced. display cabinets become sculptural interventions, turning hughes discoveries in on themselves – subverting a linear reading of the past and suggesting ways in which history can find relevance through processes of association. there is no progress without chance.
a library’s content is its readers, a museum’s content is its visitors. walking away, they transport stories home (the veins pouring outwards) with them throughout a city. small objects, quiet stories, half secrets, half-divulged, half-contained, half-truths – in flux. somewhere between, here and there, I remember the sheer materiality of it all. i am. i am. i am.