Archive for September 14th, 2012

10,000 books on the streets of Melbourne

Friday, September 14th, 2012
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You guessed it. It’s another one of those poncey art installation projects. 10,000 discarded books gathered by the Salvation Army have been artfully dumped on the streets of Melbourne.  “We know how some of you bristle at the sight of used books repurposed in art, so it’s with more than a little trepidation that we tell you…” Flavorwire began somewhat hesitantly to explain.  I stopped at the word “art,” but then I’m old-fashioned.

It’s the latest effort from the Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus, and it’s a traffic-stopper.  The exhibition was commissioned as part of Melbourne’s Light in Winter festival (winter is just winding to a close Down Under, you’ll recall).

Since the theme of this year’s festival was “reading,” according to the post on the Architizer website, the Spanish team repurposed “Literature vs Traffic,” previously had installed in New York City:

While the installation in New York City had been a far more subversive undertaking, the recreation in Melbourne allowed the artists to expand upon the project, allowing it to grow for a month, eventually making it their largest installation to date. …

Luzinterruptus began creating an intimate public space that encourages reading within the modern Federation Square. …

The installation aimed to take control of the public space “in which the traffic withdrew, yielding ground to the modest power of the written word.” The dimly lit books began overflowing in the streets, stealing space amongst the dense traffic. On the closing night of the installation, the books were offered up to the visiting pedestrians, each allowed to choose their favorite books out of the thousands presented to them.

Looks like a few are making their choices already.