May 30. Officiell inauguration of Bibylon

Thierry Mortier and Weld present the art project Bibylon on May 30. Welcome to the official inauguration at Weld. Norrtullsgatan 7 at 6pm-8pm. The event is child-friendly!

May 30 at 6pm–8pm

Norrtullsgatan 7

Bibylon by Thierry Mortier is a celebration of democracy, collaboration, education, culture and everyone’s future, namely the children of the world. A library collection that demonstrates our international differences – different nations and cultures – and our shared and universal sameness – the care for our children’s education.

At the end of 2022, an open call was made to find a designer to create the mobile bookshelves for the Bibylon collection. From the proposals received, designer Esbjörn Grip was selected to design the mobile bookshelves.

Promoting discovery at face value the art installation Bibylon inevitably instigates debate on demography, democracy, integration, the nation, and the people that physically populate these emotionally loaded concepts.

All the hundreds of books that constitute Bibylon came from generous donations; from the foreign embassies in Sweden, representing Sweden’s international relations, and from the Astrid Lindgren Company, representing Sweden`s export of culture abroad. Two sides of the same coin, separated by the conventional borders of nationhood. The act of voluntary donations circumvented financial motives in the project, but inevitably hit the deep-rooted fragility, namely the lack of supervision, at the core of democracy and its representation par excellence: the library.

Although set up as a traveling artwork that functions as a library collection wherever it lands, Bibylon does not try to address a concrete or acute issue of libraries. It is a public monument for what libraries represent in society: open access to all. Access to resources, education, entertainment, and more. The Swedish library system, even when facing its own issues today, does not need art to help in its concrete working, but it can use art’s ability to manifest the invisible, to manifest what is generally assumed.

Bibylon is a positive art response to political disobedience; a testimony of art’s essential place in society as an instigator of change and critical action for the benefit of the people. As the artist states “Contemporary art isn’t something anyone in particular desires, it’s what everyone in general requires – at which point art becomes societal.”

Bibylon (2023) was conceived by Thierry Mortier and produced in collaboration with Weld with funding from the Swedish Arts Council.

Bibylon Project Team:
Thierry Mortier
Lies Lecompte, artist assistant
Anna Koch, project supervisor, Weld
Esbjörn Grip, designer mobile bookcase
Emelie Appelholm-Bergbohm, communication strategist

Bibylon Mobile Bookcase Team:
Esbjörn Grip, design and manufacture
Sten Olof Nilsson, kurbits painting
Betty Wallingford, textile cover
Laurens Rohlfs, screenprints

Read more about Bibylon here

moved from Belgium to Sweden in 2018 where he now works and lives. He initiated KVADRENNALEN, PLATFORM FOR CONTEMPORARY ART TO RESPOND TO POLITICAL THREAT (2022), a leaderless, decentralized, transdisciplinary, and nationwide artists’ movement, during election years, advocating art’s essential place in society. In his practice, Mortier connects relations – his art material of choice – to take shape i.e. to generate forms. Forms that include but are not limited to paintings, sculptures, videos, installations, interventions in the public domain, undefined. While tackling big societal questions such as political governance, economy, religion, or identity, Mortier’s entry into those subjects invariably remains focused on the very nature of art in society.

Weld is supported by Stockholms stad, the Swedish Arts Council and Region Stockholm