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Intellectual Heritage

Intellectual Heritage

Light installation by Maarten Baas for the Utrecht Public Library at Neude Square, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The installation displays words used in the language of literature, culture and philosophy establishing a shared frame of reference among the educated, but the visual language used to deliver the message is perceived as pop culture: a form of advertising.

“Is the installation pointing to the entrance of a casino in Las Vegas or to the portal of a cultural temple?” asks Baas. “All of my work is open to numerous interpretations, and the interpretations can be of contradictory nature.”

Making a library an inclusive space and an attractive resource for the younger generation, increasing their reach to attract the demographic, is one of the core messages of Intellectual Heritage.  

The dilemma between choosing references of high vs pop culture is played cleverly by Baas with an intersection of the two.

The installation displays Latin words as slogans: Lectori Salutem (Greetings Reader), Scientia potentia est (Knowledge is power) mixed with names of famous authors, from Virginia Woolf to Kafka, one of Baas' favourite writers. He couldn’t resist quoting him, considering the complicated bureaucratic process that made the work possible. 


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