Shelf Documents: Art Library as Practice

Heide Hinrichs, Jo-ey Tang, Elizabeth Haines (Eds)

Track Report & b_books, 2020


Between a reader, an artist’s book, a project documentation and a catalogue, it might recall a pamphlet, a roadmap, or a recipe book that doesn’t tell you what to do. It is a book that gets mis-shelved.

Shelf documents emerges out of the project second shelf (, a collaborative book acquisition project initiated by artist Heide Hinrichs in 2018 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, with a group of advisors. They integrated 223 new titles by nonbinary, women and queer artists as well as artists of colour in art libraries as a way to fill gaps, to amplify voices, to seek out the self-initiated and the overlooked. In thinking about diversity in collections, the publication proposes art libraries as sites of intersubjective communion, spanning practices that range from personal bookshelves and the libraries of art schools and universities, to those of spontaneous collectives and the ones associated with major museums.

In this session, contributors to shelf documents will unfold different modes of listening and voicing, including through Hinrichs’ drawing practice that gave shape to Inscriptions, a series of drawings presented in Risquons-Tout. Participants are invited to reflect and remake their own practices.


ISBN: 9783942214384

268 pages, illustrated, 18 x 10,3 cm, paperback, English