Publication Details

Ballard, S. (2008). Car boot libraries. Junctures: the journal for thematic dialogue, (10), 78-90.

Additional Publication Information

The Back Boot Project happened around Dunedin, New Zealand, during 2007 and was first conceived of as “Little Politic”, an exhibition which would refer to material-specific, small objects with an emphasis on the intimacy of the small object, the double take, the second glance and the unexpected. The Back Boot Project utilised a moving exhibition space in the back of a 1986 Toyota Corolla. This space operated as a vehicle for artists to locate their work outside the usual gallery sphere and to take it into public spaces. The Back Boot Project was primarily about space – like the gallery it had its own set of limitations and challenges. Each artist contributed their own individual projects to the BBP and could – because their work was shown in the back boot of the car – implicitly refer to other ideas concerning mobility, non-space or transitional spaces.


The Ecologic Foundation of New Zealand has recently advised drivers to not "use your car boot for permanent storage. The extra weight exacts Its pnce In extra fuel consumption. Despite the warning, the Australian naturalist Merilyn T Grey keeps. a car-boot library. for use on field trips.2 Grey is particularly interested in threatened specles such as the Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot, Pink-Tailed Worm-Lizard and the Woodland Blind Snake, who all live in South Australia's Box-lronb.ark country. With his car boot library Grey is able to travel into the wilderness comfortable In the knowledge that he can identify any inhabitant species he may encounter.

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