#9 - Political Fair

A Monument for Freedom of Speech

Out of banned books, Marta Minujín created a Parthenon in 1983. At the Frankfurt Bookfair, she now starts a new campaign to collect books. 

“The Parthenon of Books”

Karl Marx was banned. Michel Foucault was forbidden, as well as the “The Little Prince”, the famous children’s book by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. All were placed on the list by a military junta. From 1976 to 1983, the military generals held Argentina in their power, and ruled as dictators of the country. After the return to democracy, the artist Marta Minujín created a memorial for a prized commodity which has been trampled on for years: freedom of speech.

From 30,000 books, Minujín – a close associate of Andy Warhol – created in December 1983 her “El Partenón de libros”, a building made of paper, thoughts, stories and ideas. After three weeks the monument was taken down, and the books – which were long forbidden – were distributed among the people. Minujín’s installation was a strong symbol that it’s worth fighting for the freedom of the word.

“Books possess strength to question power and politics. That’s what makes them so important for a liberal society. The censor of books therefore reveals a great deal about the particular time and political order,” says Juergen Boos, President of the Frankfurt Book Fair, about the project.

Next summer, for the opening of “documenta” in Kassel, the artist will build her work once again – because the fight for freedom of the press and expression must be taken up every day. The Frankfurt Book Fair supports the organisers of “documenta” with the project. Together they are making an appeal to donate books for Minujín’s piece. The artist would like to gather 100,000 books which once were banned or still are in certain parts of the world. During the Fair, “documenta” will be a guest at the Agora and will be accepting book donations for “The Parthenon of Books”. But also in the run-up and after the Fair, books can be sent per post to Athens or Kassel, or donated personally.

Here you can find more information on the project and the donation form.

Cooperation with THE ARTS+

Tickets THE ARTS+ Conference

The ticket includes: participation at the conference on 19 October, entry to THE ARTS+ Fair and Frankfurt Book Fair. “THE ARTS+ Conference Pass” also includes: entry to our exclusive Business Club, Invitation to the VIP Reception and opening of the Book Fair on 18 October and a guided tour of THE ARTS+ exhibition area.

You can find the ticket shop here
The Book Fair and “Documenta” are also cooperating on another project. The art exhibition faces the challenge of digitalising its huge archive. The new Book Fair format THE ARTS+ is supporting the project with a workshop on 19 October. The goal is to work out the best strategy to digitally process this cultural heritage in an appropriate manner, and to make it globally accessible. Participation in the workshop is open to all visitors to THE ARTS+ conference.

More information on THE ARTS+ can be found on the website.