Artist book, Tom Nicholson with Brad Haylock. Humboldt University, Berlin, 2003.
Traces of a process of book collection towards a new national library for East Timor.
“I always conceived the action as a memorial or at least an attempt to picture a particular history of suffering and resistance... I hope the work also functions as a memorial to something much broader, the recent history of East Timor, or perhaps more specifically the history of the relationship between East Timor and Australia.” – Dr Tom Nicholson
Books were targeted for destruction. Libraries were systematically burned, amongst them the widely-used university library and the English library in Dili. Private collections of books were targeted, and in notable cases book collections of prominent intellectuals and independence activists were collected on the street where they were publicly set alight. In villages, schools were systematically destroyed. After action for another library was established in Melbourne in response to these circumstances. Thousands of books were donated by bookstores, libraries, and individuals. They were shipped to Dili in containers where they now form part of the nascent National University Library of East Timor. The title pages of some books were photographed before the books were sent to East Timor. This work was subsequently exhibited at the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, and in other international exhibitions in Italy, Portugal, Buffalo, and Berlin.
Traces of an action over two years: 110 lambda photographic prints, each 60 x 90 cm; pencil wall drawing; one framed text, 22 x 30 cm; nine framed black and white photographs, each 22 x 30 cm. Exhibited in Zones of Contact, 15th Biennale of Sydney, curated by Dr Charles Merewether, 2006.
Installation of 4,000 artist's book,s traces of an action over two years, diminishing during the course of the exhibition as visitors take a copy of this book in exchange for leaving a book as a donation, a process creating a second stack of books; black and white type C photograph, 150 x 100cm; vinyl wall text. Exhibited in To the arts, citizens!, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal, curated by Óscar Faria and João Fernandes, 2010–11.
MADA researchers from varied backgrounds, including professional artists, designers, architects and theorists, work together to produce vibrant, innovative, creative research that addresses the social, economic and human issues facing Australia.