I created this installation especially for the 2012 Malta Book Fair in Valletta. The annual Book Fair was held at The Mediterranean Conference Centre, which used to be the hospital of the Knights in the 16th century, “The Sacra Infermeria”. The 155 meter long hall has a breathtaking atmosphere and just inside the entrance I built a 7 meter tall tower of books meant to be recycled. The book installation, which also had a bit of metal in it in the shape of a patinated copper cube with deeply etched text, was entitled “Valanga ta’ Kliem” in Maltese – “Avalanche of Words”.
From the entrance only the stacked books could be seen, while facing the hall, open pages cascaded from the top downwards on the other side. Besides Maltese President George Abela (in the photo above with my partner, Ġorġ Mallia, Chairman of the National Book Council), Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, Minister of Culture Mario de Marco and Minister of Education Dolores Cristina (in the photo below), the fair was visited by 20,000 people and it was amazing to see everyone who entered look up at the ceiling, and see smiles spread across their faces!
Putting up my book installation was challenging and involved a big surprise, when a old bolt in the ancient walls of the MCC gave way and all 7 meters of books came crashing down, a few seconds away from reaching their full height. The Times’ photographer Matthew Mirabelli brilliantly captured the moment. The photo (below) was included in The Times Picture Annual 2012.
More photos, including several of the setting up of the installation, can be seen here.