Nothing like stumbling across an outdoor library just before you go to sleep…pre-dreamtime smiles for Rachel that’s for sure. And yes, I love books…you should know that by now. This “bookyard” was made by the Italian artist Massimo Bartolini for the Belgian Art Festival, TRACK: a contemporary city conversation in Ghent. He will actually be exhibiting new work as part of dOCUMENTA (13) this year and I’m hoping I get the chance to see it whilst I’m back in Europe in July. Bartolini has installed twelve bookcases in St Peter’s Abbey vineyard, Sint-Pietersplein 14, which was established in the Middle Ages. The green shelves have been constructed upon a small grassy field that moves up the gradual slope of St Peter’s Abbey in line with their vines. The units are filled with books for sale by the public libraries of Ghent and Antwerp with the profits of these items going to benefit the mutual institutions. Visitors to the exhibition may bring home a piece of the artwork, an object housed in the shelves of “bookyard”, by leaving a donation of their choice in a small box supplied by the artist and the libraries. It is on display until the 16th September 2012. (Thanks to designboom). I’d like a “bookyard” in my garden back in the UK though it would probably end up being bigger than the garden itself. Wouldn’t it be great to have them in the streets, the public spaces and parks in Shanghai and China? I have no idea how people would react and no doubt the powers that be wouldn’t let it last for very long. A beautiful creative intervention project with such global potential and personal impact. The act of finding something new is very special…let’s see what I find in my dreams tonight. Goodnight all!



  1. I’m not sure about this ….. reservations, but ones which make me ask myself big questions as regards art, and art in public spaces, and about books!

    Books have traditionally been kept in places where they’re preserved from the ravages of the weather – and animal life. So, on one level, this is a great dis-respecter of books and what they traditionally function as, and as regards the original intentions in the creation of each one of them. But at the same time, we’re dealing with great heaps of unwanted books, remaindered, being sent for shredding, and there are big environmental resources questions around all that.

    Then there’s permanence and transitoriness in art, and this presents that – because this won’t last long, despite the immense amount of time, effort and resources used to create it. So, on one level it’s throw-away art, which is not what you see on first impressions. And although I like art which is transient and temporary and which disappears, I don’t like it to have come out of what to me feels like perhaps too big a waste of resources. The balance between resources used and what’s been achieved maybe just doesn’t work for me?

  2. Reblogged this on I Rez Therefore I Am and commented:
    GHENT, BELGIUM, 4 June — What? What? iRez’ Trilby Minotaur NOT the only bookbinder heading to dOCUMENTA (13)!? Yes, it’s true, Rachel Marsden will also be heading over soon to see, among other things, what “Library in the Park” artist Massimo Bartolini has in store for Kassel.

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