Friday, November 20, 2009


Serena Korda

The Library of Secrets

The Library of Secrets is a mobile library conceived from the love of keeping and finding things amongst the pages of books. The Library of Secrets invites you to leave your thoughts, wisdoms and secrets amongst the pages of one or more of the 400 books in its collection. Peruse the shelves for your favourite 19th or 20th century classic or maybe just rummage through the books to find other peoples secrets.

Between 2007-2008 The Library took up residence in different venues across Whitstable as part of Whitstable Biennale 2008. For a whole year the The Library of Secrets hosted a series of events including the Book Club Debate, which met every 6 weeks. The Book Club focused on discussing books that inspired the films Peter Cushing starred in, including; Dracula, Lolita, The Hound of the Baskerville’s, Frankenstein, Nineteen Eighty Four and The End of the Affair. These classics are often imbedded in our knowledge through their film adaptation rather than the original novel. The Book Club Debates were chaired by myself and a host of visiting experts, lively debate was followed by a screening of the film each book inspired. The Book Club Debate was documented through a series of book reviews written by myself and members of the Book Club.

The Library of Secrets also became a mini publishing house producing a series of artist’s books that chart the development of the library and its relationship with its members. The books and multiples that have been produced include, ‘The Book Club Debate Whitstable’, ‘The Writing Challenge’ and ‘Things Found Inside Books’.

I attended the Real Wold Seminar at the Whitechapel, and this was how I got to know Serena's work. A work that according to Serena's own words seeks to intervene in everyday life, to disrupt everyday. One of the things that interest her the most is story telling, other people's stories, things you don't find in books, but in this piece the audience does find those bits and pieces of people's life inside books, for she invited the audience to leave secrets in between the pages of the many books on tour. Working with people is the other big interest in her work, to ask for collaboration on the very creative process, as for example in the answers lies at the end of the line for the Tube, local crossword puzzle fanatics were invited to help her create puzzles to be distributed across the Jubilee line.

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