On reading, writing, memory and forgetting in a library of living books
Conversation between Mette Edvardsen and Victoria Pérez Royo
This conversation between artist Mette Edvardsen and researcher Victoria Pérez Royo accompanies the second instalment of the project Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine.
A book on reading, writing, memory and forgetting in a library of living books is the subtitle to the publication Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine (2019), devised by Mette Edvardsen and Victoria Pérez Royo — with Runa Borch Skolseg and Kristien Van den Brande — around a complex project which got off the ground over a decade ago and which, for the second time, is presented in the Museo’s Library. In the project, people from different countries memorise books of their choice. Together, they form a library collection of “living books” which, at stipulated times, are available to the public in the form of individual encounters from which to recite what has been learned to a visitor.
The conversation will see Edvardsen and Pérez Royo delve into the different phases of the project’s process of creation and the formats that stem from this far-reaching artistic research.
Mette Edvardsen lives between Oslo and Brussels and works in the sphere of stage arts and performance, in addition to her explorations in other mediums and formats such as video and the publishing and experimental composition of books. Due to her training as a dancer and participation in choreographic projects and prestigious companies like les ballets C de la B and Mårten Spångberg, her work is often framed inside the field of dance. Perhaps it is the place from which she investigates modes of generating practices and situations, although her work does break out beyond such disciplinary limits, delving into hard-to-classify terrains, with an interest in the relationship between language and action running through the centre of her work. Edvardsen is currently a researcher at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and an associated artist at the Black Box theatre in the same city. She is also a founder, with Juan Domínguez, Alma Söderberg and Sarah Vanhee, of the collaborative platform Manyone.Victoria Pérez Royo is a professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the University of Zaragoza and an ARTEA researcher. She has co-directed the MA in Arts Practice and Visual Culture (University of Castilla la Mancha and Museo Reina Sofía) and taught seminars in university art programmes in countries such as Argentina, Germany, Costa Rica, Belgium, the Netherlands and Mexico, among others. Moreover, she has published books that include Danza contemporánea, espacio público y arquitectura (2008) and Componer el plural. Cuerpo, escena, política (2016, with Diego Agulló). In recent years, she has worked as a curator and on research initiatives in institutions like La Casa Encendida, Museo Reina Sofía and Matadero Madrid.