The Library

Project description

The Library project is not the representation of a specific library, but rather an attempt at representing the very essence of the idea of a library. It is loosely inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ novel The Library of Babel, where the author describes the universe as an “infinite and cyclic” library. The project is thus an attempt at showing, through a photographic installation, the library as an infinite gathering of books, but that can be contained in a single book.

If one assumes that a library has three main functions, that is to gather books, to stock them and archive them, and to make them available to the public, it is possible to phrase the following statements. First, as a library is, by nature, a place where books are gathered, it is potentially infinite, because books, and thus knowledge, knows no boundaries and is constantly expanding. And second, a library may contain a book on libraries, or even the list of all books in that particular library, which means that a library is simultaneously the container and the content of the same subject matter

The Library is a photographic installation developed upon the above-mentioned propositions. In its simplest form, the installation is composed of six elements (photographic objects and installations) laid down in a circle. These elements are the following:

  1. A fake book, i.e. a photographic object imitating one of the books of the library, life size;
  2. A fake bookshelf, i.e. a photograph imitating one of the bookshelves of the library, life size;
  3. The Never-Ending Wall of Books, i.e. a photograph of a bookshelf placed in a light box and shown in mirrors, in order to create the illusion of a wall spreading endlessly in all directions;
  4. The Never-Ending Corridor of Books, i.e. two photographs of bookshelves placed in light boxes and shown in mirrors, in order to create the illusion of a corridor sprawling endlessly;
  5. The library building i.e. a light box representing a miniature library;
  6. A real book, which is the alter ego of the fake book, where one can find a photograph of the miniature library building.


In this setting, watching the installation is like a backward tracking, starting from a book, where each additional step backward places the viewer in a higher position, and ending where it has started.

Current photo

Photo #1 by Nicolas Grospierre

Fake book #1148228, laid flat.