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‘A Kind of Library’
May 2023 - Nov 2023

Works by Jenny Holzer, installed at GOMA for ‘A Kind of Library’, May 2023 / Photograph: C Callistemon, QAGOMA

I always imagined paradise to be a kind of library.

This quote, from Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, is the point of departure for this selection of artworks, which share text as a common element.

Spanning a variety of media, and a wide range of fonts, scripts, languages and grammar, these works privilege the written word. Some explore narrative (or the disruption of it), visual poetry, expressions of confessional or instructional language, or slippages between word and meaning. Others look at the absence of the written word — what has been omitted, erased or redacted.



Emerging from Australian and international artists in the Collection with a shared literary sensibility and love of language, the display includes works that are playful and philosophical, inspirational and ironic, and provocative and heartfelt in tone. There is a certain cacophonous quality to the display with multiple voices, typefaces and registers all clamouring for attention.

Installed in the GOMA Foyer, ‘A Kind of Library’ explores the visual and conceptual potency of the written word, revealing what a rich vocabulary it offers for artists working in all media.

Feature image: Works by Jenny Holzer, installed at GOMA for ‘A Kind of Library’, May 2023 / © Jenny Holzer/Copyright Agency / Photograph: C Callistemon, QAGOMA


Collection artworks featured in ‘A Kind of Library’

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