This year’s Annual is published in tandem with a long-term installation of The Serving Library’s collection of (mostly) framed objects at 019, an artist-run exhibition, performance and work space in a former welding factory in Ghent, Belgium.

Apparently, the sole common denominator of the objects in the collection — which range from paintings, photographs, and record sleeves, to a can of green paint, a German car license plate, and an ouija board — is to have appeared as illustrations in an issue of The Serving Library Annual or one of its immediate antecedents, Bulletins of The Serving Library or Dot Dot Dot, sometime over the last 20 years.

In fact, this issue of the Annual bears a family resemblance to a book published by Roma Publications in 2009, Extended Caption, which reproduced 43 items from the collection that had originally illustrated as many Dot Dot Dot articles, which were in turn systematically presented as captions to the items.

The present volume depicts the entire collection at the time of writing, arranged in chronological order of production. We have also excavated fragments from the original text to which each item was tethered, in order to offer some context and entertainment, and to illuminate why each image/object might have been deemed ripe for inclusion in the first place. The issue includes a newly commissioned text, ‘Caveat,’ as a sort of notice or warning about the collection, written by Vincenzo Latronico.

The issue is published by Roma Publications, Amsterdam in partnership with 019, Ghent; LLS Paleis, Antwerp; and Ravisius Textor, Nevers. It is supported by the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts, Helsinki; and the Saastamoinen Foundation, Helsinki.

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