What is Beyond Repair?
Beyond Repair is a book shop and publishing site located in the bustling Midtown Global Market, a public market located in the epicenter of South Minneapolis’s 9th Ward. All the books within the shop are produced in house in collaboration with writers, academics, activists, poets, artists, and others around the world, as well as with neighbors, who bring with them the wealth of histories and ideals present within the surrounding neighborhood.
What is Beyond Repair, really?
Beyond Repair looks very much like a book shop. And that’s good, as we love books and the power and vitality of the book in creating bonds between people. But the concept of the project moves well beyond the physical boundaries of the page. At Beyond Repair we see publication as the act of public-making. Publication doesn’t begin with an object, a noun, but with the space in-between bodies, between people. Publication is a verb, an action.
Through the actions of people reading, sharing, creating with one another – and sometimes that most certainly includes the creation of printed materials – publication is enacted.
With these ideas in mind, publication at Beyond Repair starts by entering the space and offering one’s self up to the possibilities of neighbors working, talking, and creating a future neighborhood together.
Beyond Repair is an artist project, managed and facilitated by Red76, which uses the model of a shop within a market place to ask questions of one another, and move those shared questions out into the neighborhood to see if they transform into shared desires to act upon.
The project is titled Beyond Repair in that our founding desire is to move far past the dominant, condescending top-down narrative foisted upon neighborhoods such as our own within the 9th Ward, that of people and places that need “fixing.” Apart from the obvious hierarchies that such rhetoric creates, why would we want to fix something that was broken when we bought it?
Rather than constantly feeling the need to respond to those in power who do not live in the neighborhood, Beyond Repair invites neighbors to work with neighbors, using an expanded notion of what publication can be, to formulate our own questions, our own desires for what we need, and how we want to live together in the future.
How does it sustain itself?
Beyond Repair is NOT a non-profit, it is not funded by some big grant (but we’re happy to receive one), it is not part of a public program. Beyond Repair is a self-initiated artist project that looks towards a diverse system of funding and support strategies, with a core interest in maintaining conceptual and political autonomy over its purpose.
That means we’ll make this thing work by hook or by crook, but our surest form of support will be an interested public finding value in the complexity of the work Beyond Repair does.
Time and questioning…
Beyond Repair will not be around forever. That impermanence is a core conceptual underpinning. A value which we hope neighbors will come to see as a one of our strengths. The project is a space for questioning, and any public that questions itself needs to evolve through its questioning and reflection. The project is actively non-institutional, and not for a lifetime. It is a model desiring to forge new tools. Better tools through shared knowledge and diverse experience.
We have secured a three year lease within our space in the market. In that time we will change, and change through the daily experience of relationships formed within the shop. Those experiences will create countless new relationships, and by the end of our lease, we are confident those new relationships will illuminate a path that might presently be obscured to each of us.
Tomorrow is the question…
* As Beyond Repair is a critically engaged sociocultural project that speaks specifically of neighborhood, land, communion, cooperation, and utopic possibilities, we would be remiss to allow it to remain unacknowledged that the Midtown Global Market, Beyond Repair, and our conversations and actions therein and beyond into the 9th Ward, all manifest on Dakota land.