part of the ongoing series
September 17 - October 3, 2021
Maria Möller is a Philadelphia-based artist who seeks to distill narrative from fact and interpret how story and place can reflect our innermost longings and collective hopes. Rooted in a background in theatre and photography, her work includes site-specific installations, participatory interventions, and community-based events. Her work has been shown in the Philadelphia area at galleries such as the Painted Bride, Street Road Artists Space, Little Berlin, and the Esther Klein Gallery – but she has more often exhibited in alternative spaces such as street corners, empty lots, markets, libraries, and motels.
See full details about the Summer Library project, including other Librarians' work, here.
Untitled is a poem about the pandemic, composed on site in three hours, using words from the titles of books in the Street Road collection.
Using the titles of books to write a poem reflected an initial idea of curating a collection that explored writing as the obvious counterpart of reading. So I first approached the mountains of books at Street Road with the hope of composing something about the joys of reading and books, writing and words. But I also knew that this improvisational exercise might turn towards the cataclysmic times we are having. Even after all these months, it’s still hard to talk about anything else, right?
The books on hand lent themselves to this direction. Self-help, religious narratives, classics old and new – their titles opened up into a yearning and a searching – a portrait of a country and a community looking to find meaning, hope, support, and beauty. I included the works of four of my favourite authors in the collection. But overall I chose the books in a ultilitarian, non-readerly way – plucking them from the mountain because I needed the words on their spines.
Listen reading by Maria Möller