The Royal Library contains substance and thought in a multitude of physical formas., from the country´s smallest almanacs to gigantic reference works and indexes about just about everything. Here one can find cultural-historical beacons of tremendous beauty and insight, but also quite banal pamphlets for general door-to-door distribution. High and low, wide and narrow, all collected and preserved for the present and the posterity. Here everything becomes valuable as evidence of how it was, how it is and perhaps also how it will be in the future.
“We may believe we are the best. We are only – for the moment – the last.”
Erik Petersen, senior researcher, manuscripts and rare books.
Like an immense, richly detailed landscape the collections are fascinating, but also inaccessible to the person wandering about on his own. Hotel Pro Forma created a pleasure trip throughout the Royal Library. Amazing connections emerge when unknown or neglected phenomena are brought together and into focus.
“An open door is to me an access. Basically the door is where it is because it must be kept closed.“ Claus Friis, head of department of security.
Works from six different departments will be exhibited:
From the department of Manuscripts.
Department of Maps, Pictures and Photographs.
Faculty of Natural and Health Sciences.
Department of Preservation.
Department of Digital Preservation.
Apart from that catalogues from the Collection of pamphlets and Corporate Publications will be displayed.
Heads of department and librarians are given a voice and themselves become part of the exhibition. They take us round and tell us about places and things, we did not know or had forgotten.
At the same time the exhibition space offers new, open views of other parts of the library and shows the room as a single cell in the large organism.
Hotel Pro forma has from each department selected one or several works of completely different origin and importance; works that fascinate because of their concrete physical expression. Also objects and pictures from Hotel Pro Forma´s extensive productions over 25 years provide an interplay with the selected works from the collections.
“If we keep the negatives in our ordinary stacks, it is in fact possible that they might explode.” Marie West, head of department of preservation.
UNDERCOVER is an exhibition about the library as a fundamental, all-encompassing knowledge organism, where the particular and the common, the sublime and the profane act together on the same stage. The works open up on new premises in a dialogue between the library´s departments right across time, typification, way of thinking and the world of art.