When visitors find Susanna Hesselberg's sculpture, their first impulse is to make a joke about it. Is it a book drop? Is it the world's smallest library? A retreat for the most hermitic book lover?
Located in Aarhus on the coast of the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, it's a deep, seemingly bottomless hole in the ground, lined with nearly 3,000 books.
The books are facing spines in, so the titles aren't visible. The books are carefully stacked to completely fill the boxed space, the subtle gradients of the paper creating an abstract pattern.
The piece has a sobering title, taken from a song by Laurie Anderson, "When My Father Died It Was Like A Whole Library Had Burned Down." The piece commemorates the knowledge lost forever by the death of a human being.
"For me, the books are symbols for human knowledge and life," Hesselberg says of her work, "Every book a story, a small universe of time, space and thoughts between two book covers. To bury them like this could be like an excavation of humanity or like a tomb."
This piece is part of Denmark's biennial sculpture festival, Sculpture By The Sea. The festival showcases new works by 55 contemporary sculptors on display along the country's scenic shoreline.