As the sixth East Wing Collection comes to a close, an exciting contemporary art exhibition, The Library of Babel, is planned for Somerset House. Several promising young contemporary artists have been commissioned to make works that take as their inspiration the architecturally unique and conceptually intriguing spaces of the Courtauld’s libraries. The works that they have created explore themes of classification, authenticity, and the nature of the archive. Artists include William Cobbing, whose photographs depict root-like formations winding through the shelves of the Witt library; Goshka Macuga, who continues her recent exploration of book covers in a series of screen prints; and the interactive project Library of Unwritten Books, which records the literary aspirations of the libraries’ staff and users. Visitors to Somerset House on Saturday May 17th will have the chance to contribute to the project by being interviewed about their own 'unwritten book’, which will become part of the exhibition display in the building’s south block. Open free of charge from May 28th until June 26th, the exhibition aims to bring to public attention the fascinating spaces that Courtauld students inhabit on a daily basis, but that are all but hidden from the visitor to Somerset House.

Lucy Bradnock