Add to My MSN

The Towering Book Stack

8/10/2011 5:41:02 PM

Tags: Tower of Babel, Marta Minujín, Buenos Aires, Argentina, visual art, books, art installations, literature, arts and culture,, Danielle Magnuson

Tower of BabelA bibliophile’s personal library might start out neatly contained on bookshelves—perhaps even organized alphabetically within genre—but soon enough more volumes are wedged willy-nilly above the orderly rows, stacked on the floor, jammed into nooks and crannies around the house, and perched atop the refrigerator.

If this describes your home, you’ll appreciate the seven-story tower of books built by visual pop artist Marta Minujín on a pedestrian plaza in Buenos Aires. Composed of 30,000 donated books encased in protective plastic, the art installation spirals 80 feet above passersby, writes Called the Tower of Babel, the artwork stood in the plaza for three weeks, after which it was dismantled and some of its building blocks given away to visitors.

Minujín, who specializes in large-scale “livable” art events that engage the community, conceived the tower to celebrate the Argentinean city’s designation as the 2011 book capital of the world. Many of the volumes were donated by foreign embassies, creating a multilingual piece of art. As Minujín says, “Art needs no translation.”


Image by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, licensed under Creative Commons.

Related Content

Are You Into Bookshelf Porn?

A blogger is collecting pictures revealing the variety and beauty of bookshelves...

UtneCast 02: The New Capitalists

Nina Utne on the future of radical capitalism.

The Future of Art: Shattered, International, and Incomprehensible

Emerging artistic disciplines are poised to shake up accepted notions of art history, criticism, and...

Video: Instantly Bilingual

Will augmented reality usher in the Post-Language Era?...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!