Tower of Babel
Installation, 2006-2013

A tower of books, its form reminding us of the Tower of Babel as it is represented on Pieter Brueghel’s famous paintings.

Height and diametre over 4.50 m, 15 000 books of all origins, languages, contexts: novels, poetry, theatre texts, art books, cook books, children’s books, school books, travel guides, do-it-yourself books, diet books, memoirs, technical and scientific publications, administrative texts, political books, censored books, translations and books in their original langage, old books and very recent ones ...

This installation has been shown (and each time enriched with new publications)
→  in 2006 at the contemporary art centre La Maréchalerie, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles, curators Valérie Knochel and Nicolas Michelin ;
→  in 2007 at the ZKM, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany,
- and in 2008 at ARTE, Strasbourg, curator both times Bernhard Serexhe ;
→  in 2009 at the Maison de l’Architecture de Poitiers, on invitation of the Ville de Poitiers, curator Dominique Truco, within the art event Tout autour de Babel, in the company of Bernard Heidsieck, Jacques Villeglé and many others ;
→  in 2012 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Lille in the exhibition Babel, curator Régis Cotentin,
→  exhibition shown again in 2013 at the Botanique in Brussels.

The books have been put back into circuit in 2021 by the online used books librairie RecycLivre with the help of the ZKM.

With support from :
French Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Région Ile-de-France, Conseil Général des Yvelines, Ville de Versailles, Emmaüs Alternatives, Monum Editions du Patrimoine, Knauf Insulation, Actes Sud, Collège Henri Matisse de Montreuil, Le Cherche Midi, Larousse, Numilog.com, Boudier Moskwa Architectes, Metzler’sche Buchhandlung Karlsruhe, Bibliothek des ZKM, ARTE, la Ville de Poitiers, la Faculté de Lettres et la Maison de l’Architecture de Poitiers and all the contributors of books.

Many thanks to :
Nicolas Michelin, Valérie Knochel, Aziza Albou, Julie Pagnier, Nicolas Moskwa (EXP architectes), Alain Accard, Jason Karaïndros, P&U Gautel, Peter Weibel, Bernhard Serexhe, Christof Hierholzer, Gisbert, Ronny and the team of the ZKM, Anatole Serexhe again and again for his precious assistance, Théo Beilé, the whole team of ARTE, François Bouet, Jean-Pierre Uhlen, Dominique Truco, Régis Cotentin, Jean-Marie Dautel and the team of the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Lille, Marie Papazoglou, Lucie Duckerts and the team of the Botanique in Brussels, and all the people and contributors without whom this babylonian installation wouldn’t have been possible.

Last photos:
Jacques Villeglé, Bernard Heidsieck, Jaap Blonk and Dominique Truco at the exhibition Tout autour de Babel, Poitiers 2009 ; photos : Jason Karaïndros.

→  Centre d’art contemporain La Maréchalerie
→  ZKM, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie
→  Espace Mendès-France Poitiers
→  EXP Architectes


Voir aussi
#Installations #Memory #Books #Words #Tales, Myths #Politics #Censorship, Copyright, Freedom of Expression