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Swedish Artist Susanna Hesselberg Builds a Plummeting Underground Library

Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg's latest work plummets deep into the ground Alice-in-Wonderland-style. “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down” (named after Laurie Anderson’s song "World Without End") is a mind bending reproduction of a library inherited by the artist from her father, created for Denmark's Sculpture by the Sea exhibition series. The biennial festival, which closed on July 5th, boasted 56 site specific installations along the Danish coast. Hesselberg's mysterious contribution is vertical tunnel framed by a piece of glass that allows viewers to peer into a dark tower books only visible by their spines. Hesselberg wanted to recreate the depth of loss or losing control, as one might experience when a loved one dies.

Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg’s latest work plummets deep into the ground Alice-in-Wonderland-style. “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down” (named after Laurie Anderson’s song “World Without End”) is a mind bending reproduction of a library inherited by the artist from her father, created for Denmark’s Sculpture by the Sea exhibition series. The biennial festival, which closed on July 5th, boasted 56 site specific installations along the Danish coast. Hesselberg’s mysterious contribution is vertical tunnel framed by a piece of glass that allows viewers to peer into a dark tower books only visible by their spines. Hesselberg wanted to recreate the depth of loss or losing control, as one might experience when a loved one dies. Their obscurity is a signature of the artist’s work, who primarily practices photography where her subjects are obscured in playful, yet odd images. Interestingly, many of her photographs portray people peering into objects such as mirrors, another Alice reference. A highly conceptual thinker, Hesselberg’s main objective is to create alluring imagery on the surface, where, she has said, “there shouldn’t be anything in the way when you are looking at it.”

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