Lara Favaretto, 'Momentary Monument - The Library', 2012-2018. Installation view, Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, Germany. Photo Norbert Miguletz. Courtesy the artist
Lara Favaretto
Oct 29, 2022 – Feb 18, 2023
Talbot Rice Gallery
Edinburgh, UK

Lara Favaretto (b. 1973 Treviso, Italy) is renowned for her sculptural practice and large-scale installations that, as she describes it, ‘investigate the space between destruction and reconstruction, collapse and recovery.’ Over the past two decades, Favaretto has staged interventions that she calls ‘momentary monuments’, drawing attention to the futility and impermanence of monuments. These include a wall of 4,000 sacks of sand around the monument to Dante Alighieri in Trento, Italy; 400 tons of scrap metal that appears as archaeological find unearthed in a postapocalyptic era; or an obelisk-like stone sculpture with a small slit through which people could deposit donations to a charity that assists people facing deportation.

Following presentations of Momentary Monument – The Library at MoMA PS1 (2012), MOCA, Cleveland (2017), Kunsthalle Mainz (2018) and The Bass, Miami Beach (2019), Talbot Rice Gallery will show this project for the first time in the UK. The White Gallery will host a monolithic oversized bookcase – 3 metres tall and 9 metres wide – displaying 2,488 unwanted books. They were donated to the artist and the gallery from local libraries and second-hand bookshops from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, saving them from their destined disposal. Each book contains a folded image from the artist’s archive, loosely placed between the pages. During the exhibition, visitors are invited to leaf through the books and take away one of their choosing. It is in the audience’s hands to dismantle the ‘monument’ and the sum of its parts are thus re-distributed to bookshelves in people’s homes across the city.