Whispers in the Library was a weekly performance held over August and September 2020 by artist, academic and writer Cherine Fahd, Director of Photography at UTS. Cherine holds a doctorate (PhD) from Monash University, Melbourne and her work has been exhibited and collected by major public institutions in Australia and internationally. Most recently, Cherine was selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art and awarded a residency at The Clothing Store, both through Carriageworks.
Whispers in the Library responded to the scholarly and contemplative environment of the Reading Room. The artist, Cherine Fahd, inhabited a designated desk space to annotate her musings on love, fear, and life. Visitors were invited to take a reflection that speaks to them, insert it into a Library book, and return it to circulation until it eventually finds its receiver.
In a time of increased estrangement from one another, emphasised by the past months of isolation, it sometimes helps to be reminded of our shared existence and connectivity. Cherine’s performance sought to provoke these reminders by creating moments of connection and recognition between us. Moments of compassion in which a person carefully selects a special thought for a stranger. Moments of warmth in which the unbeknownst reader finds a message of love or care. These potential moments will circulate through time and collection, until forces of fate connect message to receiver - a tangible message, considered and handwritten; an anonymous keepsake, carefully inserted into a knowing book.