Mette Edvardsen Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine

© Sydney Biennale

History has seen many cases of book burning – but the resistive spirit of the words could never be banished. In Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451, memorising books is an act of defiance. People themselves become the book. This thought inspired Norwegian Mette Edvardsen, who made a name for herself as an innovative performance artist, to develop the project Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine. In 2010 she began to build her library of living books, with performers around the world learning books by heart. In bookshops, museums or, as in Vienna, in libraries, visitors can “borrow” these books and “read” them for 30 minutes. The project examines how memory not only preserves objects, but at the same time constantly transforms them. Each new reading of the books leads to surprising and emotional encounters between strangers.

Books in German:

Die Baugrube von Andrej Platonow
loslabern von Rainald Goetz
Paloma von Friederike Mayröcker
Vielleicht Esther von Katja Petrowskaja
Nachdenken über Christa T. von Christa Wolf
Faust von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Seltsame Sterne starren zur Erde von Emine Sevgi Özdamar

Books in English:

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Orlando by Virgina Woolf
Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

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