Mireia Rocher

 180 books in Swedish, organised in alphabetical order, in an Ikea ‘Billy’ bookcase. Sweden. 2018.

Part of a larger project named ‘The Non-Functional Library’. Recently shown in Liljevachs Vårsalongen 2019, to much critical acclaim. 

The Non-Functional Library’ is an ongoing intervention that she began in 2017 when she secretly started to turn books around in libraries, bookshops, private places, medical centers, schools, churches, shops, in Ikea…

She finally decided to make it public, in a performance, in one of her favorite libraries: Stockholm Stadsbibliotek, her second home when she was living here in November 2017. 

Books have always been important in Mireia’s life. The place she feels safe, motivated and inspired. In books, she finds a way to understand the world. However, when she arrived to Sweden, she couldn’t find in books the answers for her everyday life: understanding a new language, a new social environment, new circumstances and situations. she couldn’t find in books how to book a doctor’s appointment, how to walk on the icy streets, how to apply for a work permit … the ordinary life needs to be lived, not read!

Therefore, the ongoing project ‘The Non-Functional Library’ it is not just about books in Swedish that she cannot read, but about each situation that she hasn’t been able to understand.

By turning the books around, one by one, Mireia recreates the effort of living in another country and the small steps that she has taken during these years of living here. The viewer can experience her frustration of not being able to reach the information, even if it is very close. When overcoming this frustration, the viewer has the possibility to see other things than the expected, because when you don’t understand or you don’t know there is always something else to observe.

 Fin är också Mireia Rochers Billybokhylla med 180 svenska böcker organiserade i alfabetisk ordning med ryggarna inåt. En drabbande kommentar till den slutna svenskheten. Sådana överraskningar kan en vårsalong erbjuda. Kombinationer av lågmäld poesi och drastisk förvand-lingspotential. – Ingela Lind, DN

Mireia Rochers 180 böcker på svenska står visserligen i alfabetisk ordning, men böckerna är vända med titlarna inåt. Vi står – ibland – maktlösa utanför språket, med ord och meningar vi inte kan förstå. Som för att understryka avståndet till svenska hemligheter är bokhyllan av modell Billy, som finns i oräkneliga svenska hem.– Niels Hebert, OM KONST

Mireia Rocher har vänt böcker i en Ikea-hylla så att deras hårda ryggar hamnar innerst och den mjuka vita magen blottas. Kunskapen som finns där, bara sträcka ut handen och ta, men ändå förborgad för den som inte kan språket. Den stumnade bokhyllan är en del i ett större projekt, den Göteborgs-baserade Mireia har också vänt böcker i affärer och bibliotek.– Magdalena Ljung, GÖTEBORGS POSTEN