Martha Rosler Library

1 Aug 2008 - 9 Nov 2008
Slide show: 
Martha Rosler Library, Stills, 2008
Martha Rosler Library, Stills, 2008
Martha Rosler Library, Stills, 2008
Martha Rosler, 2006
e-flux, Ludlow Street, New York, 2005
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, 2006
MuHKA/NICC, Antwerp, 2006
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 2007
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 2008
Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 2008

Stills gallery has undergone a radical transformation. Until November, an open reference library with an eclectic array of over 7,700 books from the personal collection of the prolific artist, writer and political agitator, Martha Rosler will fill the space. Curious readers can delve into volumes on photography, war, economics and political science, flick though comic books or browse maps and newspaper clippings.

One of America's most important living artists, Martha Rosler seeks to establish new spaces for thinking and questioning. Often working with photography, she generates ideas by creating links between what appear to be entirely different worlds. Users can reflect this approach by creating new pathways into the material, forging new connections and associations according to their own particular interests.

The Library was first opened to the public by Anton Vidokle in November 2005 as a storefront reading room at e-flux, on Ludlow street in New York City. It has since traveled to Frankfurter Kunstverein, MuHKA, Antwerp, unitednationsplaza, Berlin, Institut national d'histoire de l'art, Paris and John Moores University, Liverpool.

Whenever the Martha Rosler Library docks into a venue – be it a shop front, a gallery or an office above a supermarket – it evolves in response to its new geographical and social location. A repository of knowledge and ideas, it settles, breathes and lives again as new readers arrive and new discussions begin. The next chapter has now commenced at Stills, this time with a particular focus on photography.

Download the exhibition interpretation by Kirsten Lloyd, Associate Curator.

The library catalogue currently in process, can be accessed online at

Click here to see Martha Rosler's Friday Event Lecture, presented in collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art.

Martha Rosler Library events

Thursday 31 July Cockburn Street Party
Friday 1 August Stills Talk: Anton Vidokle
Wednesday 17 September Stills Screening: A Crime Against Art
Sunday 21 September Workshop for Adults: Photomontage
Wednesday 24 September The Magic Lantern: Women, Representation & Power
Tuesday 30 September Stills Reading Group: Extracts from the Martha Rosler Library
Wednesday 15 October Stills Conversation: Photomontage / Collage
Monday 20 October
Stills Reading Group: The Poetics of Space
Wednesday 22 October Stills Talk: Alistair Rider discusses Martha Rosler
Wednesday 29 October Stills Talk: Stephen Wright
Monday 3 November Stills Primer: Alex Law introduces Henri Lefebvre
Wednesday 5 November
Stills Screening: Thomas Altheimer's Europe for President
Friday 7 November Stills Symposium: ‘Unpacking her library: Against the mild boredom of order’
Thursday 13 November Stills Conversation: Martha Rosler
Friday 14 November Artist Talk: Martha Rosler at Glasgow School of Art’s Friday Event
Saturday 15 November Stills Auction!


Martha Rosler Library publication

Stills has teamed up with e-flux and the Liverpool Biennial to co-produce a publication which includes interviews with Martha Rosler and Anton Vidokle by Stephen Wright, as well as an essay by Elena Filipovic. Available from Stills (£5) and through Printed Matter,

About the Artists

Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she now lives, after spending the 1970s in California. She works in video, photo-text, installation, sculpture, and performance, and writes on aspects of culture. She is a renowned teacher and has lectured widely, nationally and internationally. Rosler's work is centered on everyday life and the public sphere, often with an eye to women's experience. Recurrent concerns are the media and war as well as architecture and the builtenvironment, from housing and homelessness to systems of transport.

Her work has been seen in the Venice Biennale of 2003; the Liverpool Biennial and the Taipei Biennial (both 2004); documenta 12 and SkultpturProjekte Münster (2007); as well as many major international survey shows, including several Whitney biennials. She has had numerous solo exhibitions. A retrospective of her work, Positions in the Life World (1998-2000), was shown in five European cities and at the New Museum and t he International Center of Photography (both in New York), concurrently.

Rosler has published fifteen books of photography, art, and writing, most recently Imágines públicas: La funcíon política de la imagen (Gustavo Gili, Barcelona, 2007). Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Essays 1975-2001 was published by MIT Press in 2004. Books of her photographs include Passionate Signals (Cantz, 2005), In the Place of the Public: Airport Series (Cantz, 1997), and Rites of Passage (NYFA, 1995). If You Lived Here (Free Press, 1991) addresses her Dia project on housing, homelessness, and urban life.

Rosler has been awarded the Spectrum International Prize in Photography for 2005, the Oskar-Kokoschka Prize in 2006, and Anonymous Was a Woman award in 2007. She teaches at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and Rutgers University.

Anton Vidokle was born in Moscow and arrived to the US with his parents in 1981, settling on the Lower East Side. His work has been exhibited in shows such as the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Dakar Biennale and at Tate Modern, London; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; Musée dʼart Modern de la Ville de Paris; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; UCLA Hammer, LA; ICA, Boston; Haus Der Kunst, Munich; P.S.1, New York; among others.

With Julieta Aranda, he organized e-flux video rental, which travelled to numerous institutions including Portikus, Frankfurt; KW, Berlin; Extra City, Antwerp; Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; and others. As founder of e-flux, he has produced projects such as Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Do it, Utopia Station poster project, and organized An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life.

Vidokle initiated research into education as site for artistic practice as co-curator for Manifesta 6, which was cancelled. In response to the cancellation, Vidokle set up an independent project in Berlin called Unitednationsplaza—a twelve-month exhibition-as-school involving more than a hundred artists, writers, theorists, and diverse audiences. Located behind a supermarket in East Berlin, UNPʼs program featured numerous seminars, lectures, screenings, book presentations. Unitednationsplaza recently traveled to Mexico City and a parallel project called the Night School will continue at the New Museum through January 2009.