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Intriguing Installation Plunges a Library Deep into the Ground

Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg recently constructed a library that plunges into an infinite abyss. Visible only from above ground, the intriguing installation is inconspicuously marked and, from a distance, looks as though it's just a square frame laying on the grass. As viewers approach it, however, they can easily see the stacks of books descending into the earth. Its compact structure is reminiscent of a mining shaft or water well with no apparent bottom.

The realization that these texts can't actually be reached and retrieved also laces the tunnel in mystery and a certain sense of foreboding. Even the title of Hesselberg's installation, When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down, alludes to feelings of loss and ways of mourning. In fact, it's referencing lyrics from Laurie Anderson's song World Without End.

This stunning artwork is Hesselberg's entry into the biannual Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark. It joins an additional 55 sculptures that are on display during the exhibition. If you're local to Aarhus, you can get a firsthand look at the piece through July 5.

Above photo credit: Claire Voon for Hyperallergic

Susanna Hesselberg: Website
via [Colossal]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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