By Sarah Jost
As part of the London 2012 Festival, Brasilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo have created the quintessential art installation for the literarily inclined. Housed in the Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom, aMAZEme is a walkable, interactive maze built from 250,000 books donated to the project by Oxfam and various UK publishing houses. In a nod to their literary hero, Saboya and Pupo crafted the maze in the shape of Argentine writer Jorge Louis Borge’s fingerprint.
The stacks of books range from one to eight feet tall, gradually changing height and curvature throughout the maze. Visitors are welcome to pick up the books from the top tier and curl up with any good finds on one of the couches or giant floor pillows surrounding the installation’s perimeter. It is simply requested that visitors return books to the top tier once they have finished with them.
In addition to the visual and tactile elements of the work, a selection of music accompanies the installation, as well as projections of literary quotes onto the stacks of books. The environment is immediately stimulating and inspiring, externally encompassing nearly everything one experiences internally when reading a treasured book.
The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad, a four year-long program celebrating the arts. The festival runs until 9 September and includes a series of 12,000 performances and events, many free, including theatre, art, dance, fashion, food, and film. Find out what’s on here.