The Entropic Library

From the Entropic Library, 1989,
included in
Magiciens de la Terre,
La Grande Halle - La Villette, Paris,
May 18 - August 14, 1989.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

From the Entropic Library is a forty-foot-long sculpture created for an exhibition held in Paris in 1989. Its imagery consists of eroded and toppling books and notebooks between bookends that combine the forms of an elephant head and an outboard motor. The disintegrating still life, spread beneath a shattered lightbulb, represents the remains of a library left to the elements in the African jungle by a European explorer. The library contains three-dimensional pages made up of words taken from texts by van Bruggen and executed in Oldenburg's handwriting. Within the international scope of the Paris exhibition, which included artists from such diverse places as Mexico and Senegal, From the Entropic Library made reference to the history of European colonialism in Africa. The original sculpture is represented in this exhibition by a large model.

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