Artist Uses 100,000 Banned Books to Construct Replica of Full-Size Parthenon at Historic Nazi Book Burning Site
Argentinian artist Marta Minujín, has created an amazing monumental replica of the Greek Parthenon from 100,000 banned books. The artist believes, it symbolizes the resistance to political repression. However, the Parthenon of Books in Kassel, Germany is part of the Documenta 14 art festival.
The public was then asked to donate these texts, which were wrapped in protective plastic and hung from the structure being asked to continue bringing volumes with them when visiting the exhibition. The 74 years old artists with the help of students from Kassel University, Minujín identified over 170 titles that were or are banned in different countries around the world and built a full-size replica of the iconic temple from those books, plastic sheeting, and steel.
But perhaps Germany’s most controversial book – Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” – will not figure on the Parthenon. Whatsoever for a good reason: the Nazis were infamous censors of books. To build on this concept, The Parthenon of Books sits on a site where more than 2,000 books were burned by the Nazis in 1933 as part of the so-called Action against the Un-German Spirit.
It’s a stark reminder that the written word has consistently been used in actions of censorship throughout history. Where they burn books, in the end, they also burn people,” Heinrich Heine said in the 19th century.
It’s likely for visitors to become part of the artwork by checking the list of banned books and bringing along a text for inclusion in the work, which will be on display until September. She dilapidates the fortune these myths represent. By literally tilting these symbols, Minujín not only gives new meaning to these monuments, but she also offers them a new sensuality.”