Libraries are tentative definitions of who their owners are at a given moment in time.
I came to Amsterdam from Bucharest in 2012 with a roomy suitcase only, carrying with me a necessary stash of clothes, documents and a small pile of books. It rolled across the pavement once, when I first moved in and continued to roll throughout the years, from home to home, accompanied by other cases, boxes, an influx of personal belongings that meant also, with each move, a larger library.
Looking back, through “26 rooms” I wanted to give a physical body to the story of my living situation and permit it to colonize my current library, an enhanced version of its original Amsterdam beginnings. Sentence by sentence I’ve allowed it to cover my entire current book collection.
It’s a way to protect each book, but also to erase and re-arrange their announced narratives, as soon as books get shuffled, misplaced and loaned.
The story holds some truth, but also fiction and now it’s palpable and making parallels between the stories of others. I’ve ripped this story to pieces, divided it into individual slices, haphazardly.
New books come in, old books go out, the narrative escapes the confines of a house to take over a city.
(to be continued)