His major new work, library of exile, feels the like the logical next step for the artist-cum-author. The installation, which debuted at the Venice Biennale as part of a larger work entitled psalm, is set to travel to the British Museum in 2020 via the Japanisches Palais in Dresden. The library consists of a structure housing almost 2000 books by exiled authors, going back to the Roman poet Ovid. Visitors are encouraged to sit and read the works and to consider writing – and its translation – as an act of migration.
The outer walls of structure have been coated with liquid porcelain and gold leaf, into which de Waal has inscribed the names of the great, lost libraries of the world. De Waal says: ‘The library of exile celebrates the cultures of migration [and] languages as diaspora. For it to continue its travels to Dresden and then London is wonderful. The rich cultural programme of events which started here in Venice will be immeasurably enriched by this new tour.’
|What||Library of exile, British Museum|
|Where||British Museum, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Holborn (underground)|