Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden

15  - 17 February 2013

Brecht's library

Stockholm, spring 1940

The origin of the project Brecht's library is a list of exiled books, a map project with a group of children, and a child who lost his home.

The list of exiled books is the books Berthold Brecht wanted to have shipped over to Helsinki in Peter Weiss's epic The Aesthetics of Resistance. He feared that Sweden, where he had fled to escape the advance of the Nazis, would also be occupied and that the Swedish authorities would extradite him to Germany. The book is a novel and whether this very detailed list is in accordance with reality I do not know. The list of books amounts to a form of the canon of mostly male and Western classics.

The project consists of me reconstructing Brecht's book collection and using the paper in these, I build small models of tents and other simple emergency housing. I apply the models in formations to moving boxes, walls, and floors depending on where the project is displayed. During the course of the project, I hope that those taking part in the project will participate by contributing suggestions and copies of books worth saving in the event of forced exile. Hopefully, these suggestions will correct the skewed balance that Brecht's book list is plagued with. The idea is that the words in the books should be transformed in a literal sense into protection for people in need. In the process, of course, the books are destroyed and become more or less illegible, but the meaning of the text lives on in all those who took part.