While strolling around the beautiful streets of The Hague in The Netherlands, we were struck to see a waterfall of books cascading from the windows of a building! This surreal scene is the work of Madrid-based artist Alicia Martín, who reuses books she collects from donations. Her amazing sculptures give new life to old unwanted books.
Foreign comic books, romantic novels, heavy encyclopedias and children’s schoolbooks are all part of Alicia Martín bizarre creations. Martin’s latest work at the Museum Meermanno is a monumental book cascade that captured the attention of passers-by and invited them to wander inside. The Meermano’s Paper Biennale showcased pieces by a variety of talented artists, but Martín’s piece is the show’s biggest and most wonderful.
The sculpture is based upon an iron frame skeleton and it’s designed to change as time and the weather turn the pages yellow. The site-specific work leapt from one of the historic buildings’ front windows and landed inside an ornate fence that strained to contain the books. (The fence is broken in the middle, as if it just couldn’t stand the weight and power of the millions of written words.) Locals and residents could draw, underline or take any book they wanted, as they were not attached (at least the ones on the bottom).
The Hague´s Meermanno Museum focuses on international artists working with books and letters. It features spectacular installations, films and other art projects, so it was the perfect location for the Paper Biennale, which was full of works showing the versatility of paper.
Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat