BOOKS INHALED BY THE SKY, 1998
Video Projection - 14 mn
In 1998 Esther Shalev-Gerz produced the video work Books Inhaled By The Sky for the Municipal Museum of Louviers, France. A significant, but rarely consulted collection of ancient books, confiscated from neighbouring abbeys during the French revolution, are held in the Museum’s rotunda.
Projected as a loop, onto a screen suspended from this atrium was a video of close-up shots of the book’s spines, tension was built through the ever-speeding rhythm of the shots. Next a man, seated by a window in the library, is seen engrossed in a book - the pages of which then begin to turn. He returns, now standing on the plaza of the Grande Bibliotheque and begins to throw the books into the sky – from which they never fall.
Books Inhaled By The Sky contributes to Shalev-Gerz’s long-term examination of the role of archives – human and physical - and the iconological relationship between text and image.