The No-History’s Library/ ARTISTTRIAL, intends to articulate and make visible, by placing this piece at the Nicanor Parra UDP Library, the traumatic persistence originated in the incompleteness of recent Chilean history, which this piece seeks to highlight, but also accept and heal.

The No-History’s Library / ARTIST TRIAL is a continuous intervention of the empty shelves in the Library, with 330 “books” which compile the files related to Chile declassified the American government, spanning from 1968-1992, which was named “CHILEDECLASSIFICATIONPROJECT”, between 1998 and 2000.

On the second floor of the Nicanor Parra Library, in the empty 35 shelf cabinet, the books will be organized in 10 backlighted shelves, making a horizontal line of approximately 7 meters over the shelf under the name: LEAVE CHECKED BOOKS HERE.

The hypothesis which led to the first piece of this series in 2011 was the despair of verifying that after 10 years of its declassification, information from files was not part of documents referenced or contrasted to write the historical “versions” of Chile on the accounts from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

The first No-History’s Library intervened3 Ulises Bookstores in Santiago with “books” containing these classified files , which after declassification showed first, the great volume of information (allegedly Chile is the country with the most declassified); and second, the censorship expressed through the black blocks of a censor’s marker. Two conditions which led me to choose these “books” artifact, exhibited and shown to the public in bookstores, and which could be taken after answering the question: “What space would you assign to this book?” and then “What are you going to do with this book”.

Thus -that is why I say despair- in a hysterical-historical gesture, I formally decided to transform into “books” some archive material which was not part of the history books. I seek books as a result of the piece of an author or a discipline, on human affairs which move us and we care about, i.e., a book is a civilization exercise to fight barbarism. Whereas a file only entails the possibility of using information which may or may not be useful to create knowledge, in this sense, the file is a piece of material generated by barbarism, thus it is a raw, crude and infamous material.

Through this new proposal of the No-History’s Library/ ARTIST TRIAL, the emptiness of cabinets surrounding books made from archive documents is shown as the possibility of thinking a more optimistic and hopeful artifact concerning the ethical issue presented by this material for the creation and necessity of the national History in the future. The proposal, through the bibliotecology discipline, is that the cabinets will be filled in the future in an unpredictable fashion with those books already written and which will be written to formulate narrative, analysis, and poetry to serve as elaboration and background of this archive material; therefore, as an elaboration of facts occurred in Chile during the second half of the XX century.

Likewise, I envision the system of bibliographic classification by topics, authors, or titles of the library, and which also represent disciplines of collective knowledge labor –through a library catalog which shall be constantly updated, will bring about the possibility to organize and enable access to this writing in the erasure of Chile’s History and its citizens. The empty cabinets shall have signs reading history, sociology, art, psychology, journalism, poetry, literature, etc., with the consequent universal decimal classification of the Library system.

At the same time, the cabinets will also have books from the Recovered Library Project which are “the recovery of books rescued, or symbolically recovered, those which could not be saved” from the burn, destruction, or concealment, since “many books, due to fear or repression, were burnt, hidden, or buried in thousands homes and Chilean institutions, configuring a spectrum of authors, titles, and topics silenced, impossible to quantify and detail. Millions of books from fables to universal literature were burnt or destroyed, ranging from Latin American writers or simply educational, cultural, philosophical or political texts.”

Through these two actions, the No-History’s Library/ ARTIST TRIAL and the Recovered Library, we will call the past and create awareness towards the future about writing/deleting History in Chile, its cultural history and its future intellectual production.

Galería Posada del Corregidor
project type:
Installation art
La histeria de la historia
technique and objects:
Mediagua y cuadro
Variable dimensions