Parthenon of Books

by Heike October. 28, 2017 2200 views

The documenta is a German exhibition of contemporary art and takes place every five years in Kassel.

Although I often struggle with contemporary art and the meanings of it, I visited the documenta this year in June. No doubt, the Parthenon of Books, an art installation of the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín, was the main attraction of the documenta 14.

It was a replica of the stunning Greek temple Parthenon, and was made of around 70.000 banned books.

This books, were once - or still are now, banned somewhere around the world, and were donated by the public and publishing houses. In advance, a list of forbidden books of around the world (120,000 titles) was published.

seen from the side

seen from the side

Here only a few titles: George Orwell-Animal Farm / Boris Leonidovich Pasternak-Doctor Zhivago / Erich Maria Remarque-All Quiet on the Western Front / Salman Rushdie -The Satanic Verses / Mark Twain -The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy: The Kingdom of God Is Within You / Antoine de Saint-Exupéry- The Little Prince and many many more.

Visitors

Visitors

The Parthenon of books, a symbol of democracy and free speech and a reminder that literary censorship still exists today, was built on the Kasseler Friedrichsplatz, a site where German Nazis burned books by Jewish or Marxist writers in 1933.

In June, when I visited the documenta, the Parthenon of Books wasn't finished completely. On one side, the books were still missing.

Inside

Inside

During the 3 month of exhibition, they finished it and the last book was installed on the 9th of September by the artist Marta Minujín personally.

It was the book 'La primavera romana della signora Stone' (The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone) by Tennessee Williams.

Stunning visitors

Stunning visitors

One day later the dismantling of The Parthenon of Books began. All the once forbidden books were given back to the public, to be read again. As I heard, lots of people were coming to pick up one of the books, which was a part of this really spectacular construction.

Parthenon of books and on the right hand the museum Fridericianum

Parthenon of books and on the right hand the museum Fridericianum

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There are 19 comments , add yours!
Rozária Sousa 3 years, 1 month ago

super :)

3 years, 1 month ago Edited
George C 3 years, 5 months ago

Impressive and creative idea !

3 years, 5 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to George C 3 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, that's true. Thanks for your comment !

3 years, 5 months ago Edited
Olivier Girard 3 years, 6 months ago

J'aime les livres, interdits ou non, symboles d'une possible liberté.
Témoignage très intéressant, merci !

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Olivier Girard 3 years, 6 months ago

Merci pour ton commentaire! grinning

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Francesc 3 years, 6 months ago

Excellent captures

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Francesc 3 years, 6 months ago

Kind thanks, Francesc !!

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 3 years, 6 months ago

Great work from the artist and you.

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Berckmans Peter 3 years, 6 months ago

Kind thanks, Peter !

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 years, 6 months ago

WOW! What a potent statement against censorship and for free speech! Wonderful idea and powerful message! Nice photo reportage! Thanks! 

 ps...thanks for "liking & saving" my "Low Light  experiment!

pss..30/10/2017 I may be a little “spotty” on PB, over the next couple of months, due to travel, so don’t think I’ve quit, I’m just not near a wifi, etc. Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season!!! I’ll check in as much as possible.
Cheers!
Jay (dogydad2)

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Jay Boggess 3 years, 6 months ago

Thanks a lot Jay ! I think, we need more statements like that in our days...There are too many crazy and dangerous men in the highest positions at the moment, who try to influence and controll free speech.  (Not only in the US....) 
Thanks for looking !

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Heike 3 years, 6 months ago

Your Work=My Pleasure!!!
Agreed!

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 3 years, 6 months ago

Das ist m. E. die großartigste Installation, die die Documenta je gezeigt hat. Die Fotos sind ein Hammer - insbesondere  #2 und #5!

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue 3 years, 6 months ago

Danke Dir ! Die nachfolgenden documentas werden es schwer haben, diese Installation  zu toppen, das ist mal klar. grinning

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 3 years, 6 months ago

This art installation is really amazing, especially for being erected in the same place books were burned. As an avid reader I can relate totally to this piece. Thanks for sharing Heike.

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Antonio Gil 3 years, 6 months ago

Thanks a lot, Antonio. I agree, they couldn't take a better place for this installation.

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Daanish Farhan 3 years, 6 months ago

It'll be a major tourist attraction when its done! Wow, that's sooo awesome. Amazing photo Heike!! grinning

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Daanish Farhan 3 years, 6 months ago

Thanks a lot Daanish. It's not there anymore, after the exhibition it was broken down....That was part of the project...

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Daanish Farhan Replied to Heike 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I see. Lucky you did manage to take photos of it! It really is awesome!

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
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