Michal Schreiber and Alon Cohen-Lifshitz in collaboration with and initiated by the Multiculturalism and Diversity Clinic of the Hebrew University
The Bio-Library is populated by people instead of by books, comprising a diverse spectrum of identities. The project suggests that we expand the present identity discourse in which we all live through meeting directly with other participants in the library and through open communication with them. Who is the narrator and who is the audience? Who is a stranger and who is familiar? The "book" we take in hand may be a transgender person, a woman wrapped in hijab, a taxi driver or the next-door neighbor. This is a living library which offers itself as a transformative encounter between identity and being. Festival visitors are invited, together with the "books", to examine the concept of identity, between image and essence.
The mental and physical space of the library was designed according to a performative and artistic exploration of the nature of the event space. The meetings will be accompanied by a performative action in real time, which deals with concepts of presence and absence, as well as with the writing and erasing of one-time materials that are expected to arise during the meetings themselves.
The Bio-Library was inspired by living libraries in other countries, the first of which operated in Denmark. The project is a product of a collaboration between the Clinic of Multiculturalism and Diversity of the Hebrew University and the Musrara Art School, performance artist Michal Schreiber and architect Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, who will offer innovative interpretations to the idea of the living library at the current festival.