Stills, Edinburgh, 2008

Still image projection 180 x 240 cm, duration 20:00; and publication

Made for the symposium Unpacking her library: against the mild boredom of order, this work was shown in Stills during the presentation of Martha Rosler Library, over 7000 books from the personal collection of the prolific artist, writer and political agitator


Truth, Error, Opinion

Truth, Error, Opinion, commissioned by Stills, is a visual exploration of Martha Rosler Library. It reveals an associative response through images to a double-page spread from one of the library’s books, Eva Braun Hitler’s Mistress by Nerin E. Gun. Visual material from our own archives and libraries was linked to this image that in turn relate to areas we continue to research: war (conflict, history, locations of time); collecting (appropriation, representation of culture, use/misuse of culture, order); gender (visual representations of women); representation (through display, visual representations of history, cultural representation).

Central to the work is the assertion that artworks / visual materials are agents of knowledge, and that the non-verbal, the experiential and subjectivity are crucial in exploring book knowledge.

Commissioned for the symposium Unpacking her library: against the mild boredom of order that asked How do artists use books? How is the visual used as knowledge? How does knowledge inform creative processes?, the start of the symposium was marked by the presentation of the artwork, a silent 20 minute slideshow projection of 48 images. Dr Edward Welch’s paper addressed the question ‘What is the value of visual knowledge?’, considering Rosler’s and Barthes’ positions on critical vision (the need to ‘arm the eye’) and encompassed issues around the hierarchisation of knowledge, and the critical eye as essential to a process of education. The artist Ilana Halperin read from a selection of texts relevant to her work.

The limited edition publication Truth, Error, Opinion with a text by Edward Welch, was published in November 2010.

Martha Rosler Library