Mind Mining: Subterranean Library Descends Into Darkness

A fragile layer of glass is all that prevents you from falling, Alice-in-Wonderland-style, into a tunnel of books that seems to descend deep below the surface of the earth, its bottom shrouded in darkness. Roughly the size of a mine shaft, this miniature subterranean library hides all of its titles from view, the spines of the books turned inward, making it all the more mysterious.

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Entitled ‘When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,’ the intriguing installation by Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg has been dug into the sand on a Denmark beach for the biennial Sculpture by the Sea art festival. The name references a line in the song World Without End by pioneering experimental electronic musician Laurie Anderson. Hesselberg previously installed the piece as a tower of books rising into the air, rather than plummeting under the surface of the earth.

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We previously covered another entry into the show, ‘New Horizon,’ a wooden observation point that perfectly frames views of the sky and sea. Check out the rest of the 56 site-specific exhibits, including large-scale architectural sculptures on land and on the water, currently lining the coast of Aarhus, Denmark. Sculpture by the Sea is the nation’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition, occurring every two years and featuring artists from two dozen countries.