Abramovic Methods for Treasures

How to open up the library treasures to the public

The Royal Danish Library situated in “Den Sorte Diamant” (The Black Diamond) building on the Copenhagen harbour front contains thousands of unique or very rare works, that are normally displayed in static glass mounts when shown to the public. Although you do get physically close to the works, the glass barrier prevents you from having the experience of actually sitting with a book in your hand.

So the library is constantly seeking ways to open up the collections without sacrificing the integrity and safety of the works. And has worked with a diverse range of artists, each with their on take on the subject.

The Abramovic Method

The latest artist is internationally renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic. Although mostly known for performance installations that directly and physically involves the audience, she used her extensive experience with human interaction to create a space, where up to 17 people simultaneously can sit or lie down in specially prepared furniture while listening to selected essential worksfrom the collections.

The narration

The artist was directly involved in the selection of 4 voices – male and female, Danish and English. Each voice talent was handed a selection of the material to narrate. I was appointed the Danish male voice, responsible for reading almost 100 pages of diverse texts, ranging from Søren Kirkegaard, Tycho Brahe and Hans Christian Andersen, over Saxo and Linné to Shakespeare, Mahatma Gandhi and a few more modern authors.