Library of Infinities
August 6–October 30, 2021
Friday, August 6, 5PM-midnight
SAW outdoor courtyard (67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa)
Music with DJ JFUN
Food prepared by Chloé Berlanga
Free admission and cash bar
The exhibition Shaya Ishaq. Library of Infinities is an attempt at a collective envisioning of the liberation of the imagination through literature, solidarity and the narratives of resilience woven through Black diasporic communities across Turtle Island and beyond. From August 6 to October 30, 2021, SAW’s exhibition spaces will transform into a crowdsourced library of books and listening material that will be available for visitors to explore. Community leaders, artists, writers, activists and teachers in Halifax, where the project began and was first presented at the Khyber Centre for the Arts under the title Black Libraries Matter, have contributed book titles to the project, with more titles to be added during the exhibition at SAW. Library of Infinities will feature architectural shelving and modular seating in an immersive environment designed by the artist, and will include a participative website and events to be held throughout the summer and fall such as community-led reading and listening groups, film screenings and art-making workshops co-facilitated with local Black artists. By activating a space that highlights the multiplicity of Black voices on this land, the artist has created a portal of resources and stories that can empower and open minds, one that does not boast of a monolithic understanding of Black people but holds space for a boundless constellation of interrelations.