Zweistromland/The High Priestess, 1986-89. Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo. Lead, steel, glass, copper wire and mixed organic media, approx. 460 × 884 × 180 cm.
In honor of the exhibit Anselm Kiefer: Heaven and Earth at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Book Patrol will feature one of Kiefer's book related works until the exhibit ends at the end of January.
Here is our second installment: Zweistromland/The High Priestess, 1986-89
The work consists of 200 lead books (each weighing 300 kilos or a little over 600 pounds) arranged on two steel book shelves which are leaned against each other, but separated by a panel of heavy glass.
As booksellers we are always lifting books; one book here, a small stack there and a box or lots of boxes from here to there- we probably spend 1/2 our working life moving books.
Kiefer gives us in "High Priestess" books that one man/woman can't move alone. Profoundly symbolic in that books have traditionally carried the 'weight' of the culture/civilization that produced them and here they can't be transported alone.
The books in this installation can be taken off the shelf and read!