Katherine Behar's work Shelf Life (2019) is presented uniquely at Trinity College as a site-specific installation in the wall-sized glass-enclosed display of the 1823 Room. In Shelf Life, QWERTY keyboard keys stud the surfaces of oddly shaped objects, as if excised remainders of obsolescent objects are finding a new life in the archives.
In the installation at Trinity College, we look through the existing glass wall, that appears like an oversized version of our glossy screen devices. We see Behar's sculpted orbs of keys on rolling carts and shelves, where books may have been stacked to the ceiling. The artwork opens up ideas from obsolescence to preservation, issues challenged daily within the library. Maybe these keyboard remainders have been shelved, stuck in storage all this time, just waiting to be implemented. Certainly, they evoke a past that mischievously muddles with the future.