Has it come to this? The future of books…


What will it be next?  Books as landfill?

Take heart: the books used to construct this room have a future life — “but meanwhile they will have been worked on as sculpting matter and as the spirit of the place where the artist intends to hold us: an hexagonal enclosure with a passage defined by mirrors that assure the vertigo of a fall, the ad infinitum fragmentation, the panic of spatial disorientation characteristic of a virtual infinity,” according to the translated website of Prague artist Matej Kren.

Whatever.  The Book Cell Project remained intact for six  months, demonstrating “the work … of piling up thousands of books, creating an architectonic structure where we are invited to step inside.”

On the other hand, is there a cell we would rather occupy?  “Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know,/Are a substantial world, both pure and good,” wrote Wordsworth.

” … and books are yours,
Within whose silent chambers treasure lies
Preserved from age to age; more precious far
Than that accumulated store of gold
And orient gems, which, for a day of need,
The Sultan hides deep in ancestral tombs.
These hoards of truth you can unlock at will:”
I wonder how this would hold up in an earthquake … not something they worry about much in the Czech Republic, nor in Lisbon and Bratislava where this show has been mounted.

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