The starting point of the project “The Library – Production of Memory” is the thesis that a Europe without cultural identity and without reflection on the cultural dynamism of its regions is not sustainable and is robbed of its intellectual value.

This project aims at developing new approaches to cultural-comparative awareness in order to overcome thinking and acting in national categories. The project would like to explore further these issues by cross-border collaboration of artists and arts and/or cultural organizations.

A co-operation of artists from different European countries provides the opportunity to treat cultural patterns and memory from different perspectives in the artistic process. People with different cultural backgrounds will gain different insights and findings from different layers of memory. The combination of these findings offers the chance to develop a transnational (knowledge) culture.

Ten European artists selected on Open Call will be coming from the fields of performing arts, music, documentary-making, visual and media arts, including installation, photography, textile design, as well as sound and light design. They will be invited within a series of various activities and visits to the chosen locations of Cappadocia (Turkey), Rhodope Mountains (Bulgaria), Vinca –Lepenski vir (Serbia), as well as the cities of Istanbul (Turkey), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Belgrade (Serbia) to translate and transform a memory-mosaic into an artistic interdisciplinary language. The results will be shown on locations, with the aim of creating a space for the production and staging of memories in libraries as well as in site specific spots of rural localities.

The initial step of the project is the reflection on the fact that we are dealing with several forms of memory. In connection with the term “save”, we are speaking of a tangible memory (e.g. a written record), while by using the word “remembering” we connect to a memory process, which deals with personal and subjective experience. With the development of scriptures as a cultural recording system, the capacity for human memory exploded. Since then, tradition is no longer a transmitted orally from human to human, but stored, in layers, with documents issued by the past. Material memory storage, however, exceeds the needs and limitations of individuals. The result is a chasm between recorded and storable knowledge and the knowledge appropriated and embodied by living beings .

Earlier socio-cultural forms such as canon, museum and monument were re-used as media of a national memory, as opposed to a wealth of abstract, highly visible yet for personal concerns and needs meaningless knowledge.
An identity knowledge was created that was under way in intense debate, appropriation and incarnation.
But delimitation and containment, historiography and deconstruction of historiography, differentiation and identity bindings of cultural knowledge are respectively two sides of the same coin, closely related and mutually interdependent.
The division which occurred between scientification and sacralization of identical subject matters has led to two forms of memory, the storage memory and the functional memory.
While storage memory absorbs the growing amount of scientifific and historical knowledge, functional memory produces a selection from this indifferent mass, memorable for vivid minds, proposing identity and orientation.

In a series of various activities 10 selected artists will visit the chosen locations of Cappadocia (Turkey), Rhodope Mountains (Bulgaria), Vinca (Serbia), as well as the cities of Istanbul (Turkey), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Belgrade (Serbia). At the time of the first visit an internet platform will be installed to support the whole project. In the number of activities to follow, all of them taking place in the designated places, the participants will deal with cognition, transmission, translation, orchestration and production of forms of “knowledge.”
The project’s location in Istanbul, Beyazit Library, is in many ways a historic place, where – in addition to “The library goes on stage”– all artistic works will be performed.
“The Library Production of Memory”, in co-operation with international partners and co-workers, also functions as a research centre, which tries to act in an innovative way: through organization, artistic expression and content, for instance towards initiating an international poly-dialogue that differs from the usually held monologues of our current cultural landscape.
By collaborating with national and international artists and theoreticians, “the Library” tries to individually approach practices and theories in their historical context. Its main interest lies therefore in artistic ways of dealing with the following: how to develop a critical view at our cultural memory and our cultural identity, how to crack open the delicate borders of its conditions and how to soften and move rigid preconceptions.

The special rural and urban localities are selected because of their significant roles which they have played in time and will continue to play in the future. These localities possess:
Cappadocia: Architecture of nature, nature as art, nature as habitat, history of colonization (findings from up to 6500 B.C.); Rhodope Mountains: extraordinary history and a mixture of Thracian, Old Greek, Slavic and Muslim cultures apart from the traditional Bulgarian rural culture and background; a great cross-cultural site with a mixed population of Bulgarians, Armenians, Jews, Romans and Turks; heritage of the ancient philosophy of Orpheus; Vinca/Lepenski Vir: Example of proto-writing (old European script), earliest known writing in the world, Starcevo culture and new Vinca culture – influenced decisively visual arts in Neolithic communities of
Central and South-East Europe; continuous history of settlers; nuclear weapons are situated on the border of the Vinca settlements and culture.
The presentations would like to offer a new platform of ownership and circulation between providers of research platforms, creators and users of research and/or its results.

The project is divided into 18 activities (public events, research and exchange), for a period of 2 years, the tasks are splitted into following working modes: research, artistic work, documentation and presentation.


Download more detailed information folder for the project LIBRARY - PRODUCTION OF MEMORY