The Impossible Library was under wraps for a couple of months – due to necessary build-up, but also delayed by Covid restrictions. On July 4th 2020, the workshop finally opened for a small, masked audience.
After months of work on a theoretical level, the Impossible Library team finished the hands-on part of the space: a mauve-colored staircase and loft structure, sanded bookshelves, and see-through book-ends, magazines and zines unpacked from their cardboard boxes and stacked, for now. Only what has been in use will be allowed to rise up into the shelves.
On display was the infrastructure for the experimental workshop and library lab itself, setting a warm tone for the playground and upcoming guest researchers and artists despite a pandemic. As a soft gesture to commemorate the doors swinging open and with regards to strict safety measures, a typographic banner designed by Philipp Gieseler was unveiled and fluttered down in the window front, claiming its space.
Popping champagne & publishing practices
Viewers wore masks in the library and disinfected their hands before touching the publications. The publications had to be placed under a 24-hour quarantine after reading, according to official library Covid-standards. Strangely enough, this practice also shed light on the browsing tastes and interests of the readers.
Even though this gathering happened under unique circumstances, it was a warm welcome bringing people together from the neighborhood and Hamburg’s publishing communities to catch-up after a worm-hole in time. The Impossible Library kicked-off with masks and popped champagne, celebrating publishing practices now more than ever.