Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21 Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21 Amsterdam Art Week 17–27 Juni 21

Inside the bark of a tree

If I Can’t Dance opens its new library specialised in performance within the field of visual art. The library specializes in performance practices within the visual arts, and has grown in tandem with the institution’s artist commissions and research projects since it opened in 2005. It displays books, scores, scripts, a soundscape, and a video piece, all culled from the library and collection. 

Inside the bark of a tree takes as its theme the library as a living place of textured encounters and continuous cross-pollination, which prompt moments of attention, distraction, discomfort, and pleasure. This liveliness is captured in the proto-Italic roots of the word ‘library’: *lufro, referring to the inner bark of trees, and *lubh-ro, meaning leaf or rind.

The range of performance material in the exhibition amplifies the library as a social space that is dynamic and sensorial. It situates the reader at the center of the library’s materiality, negating the boundaries between the Inside of the library and the everyday ways in which we ‘read’ the material world and life around us.

Inside the bark of a tree is curated by archival assistant Naomi Collier Broms, and If I Can’t Dance’s archivist Anik Fournier.

Inside the bark of a tree

Frédérique Bergholtz and Maria Pask, Bik Van der Pol, Naomi Collier Broms and Amalia Calderon, Mariana Castillo Deball, İnci Eviner, Karl Holmqvist, Snejanka Mihaylova, Lisa Robertson, Sarah Pierce, Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec and Steiner Shepherd.