Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: aMAZEme

Last Friday, we talked about possible connections between the Olympics and scifi/fantasy, and for today's fine arts feature, we'd like to highlight one of the cultural events going on in London that ties in with the Olympics and that is, well, fantastic.

Part of the Olympic celebration includes the London 2012 Festival, which consists of over 12,000 events and performances across the UK.  One of these events, for example, is called Hatwalk, in which famous statues around London, from Lord Nelson to William Shakespeare, are now wearing hats in an exhibit curated by famous milliners Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy.

There is also an event tonight entitled Prometheus Awakes, which uses "stagecraft, giant puppets, mass choreography and special effects" to tell the story of Prometheus and his theft of fire for the human race.

But the one event that I would most like to see is entitled aMAZEme, a work based, in part, on the fingerprints and fiction of Jorge Luis Borges.

aMAZEme is a maze created entirely out of a books, and, from the looks of it, the maze takes the shape of one of Borges' fingerprints.  Here is a description of the event from their website:
By participating in the installation, the audience discovers new textures, images and emotions. They become surrounded -- hypnotized – by words and thoughts, designs and patterns. There appear to be secrets hidden in the installation’s walls; walls of up to 2.5 metres high, built from thousands of books, forming a large Maze of more than 500 square metres. The construction of the labyrinth and the public's participation will be filmed by video cameras and sent to the “aMAZEme" website as well as to social media sites. Touch screens will be installed to look up information and to screen content, which will also be shown in monitors throughout the installation.
For someone like me, who loves to get lost in a good book, this opportunity to get lost, literally, in a maze of books would be irresistible.  The fact that the pictures seem to suggest that the maze is modeled on one of Borges' fingerprints is even more appealing, given Borges' amazing, fantastical story "The Library of Babel."

The installation runs through August 26, and if any of you are lucky enough to be in or near London and want to check it out, let us know how it is!