“When we read a story we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like the roof and four walls.” — John Berger

Created in 2004, Worlds Fly Away is a complete installation – floor to ceiling, using a variety of materials to create a theater of effects permeating the stairwell and second floor hallway of the Ocean View Branch Library in San Francisco. Color, image and language are the elements that transform the library interior into an allegorical experience akin to being inside of a book. It is a bit of a perceptual puzzle. The flying and falling letters, stretched to the limits of comprehension, can be assembled (with some effort) into words, sentences and ultimately meaning. The textual intarsia of the hallway required over a thousand pieces of linoleum to create letters and shadows spelling out the line from the idiomatic folk tale, “ The sky is falling. A piece of it hit me on the head. Other literary quotes are embedded in the tile faience, and, in several languages, on the ground floor of the library. Photos taken by Said Nusiebeh document the parameters of stairway and hallway installations. Other images courtesy of the Artist.

View this mural in-depth on YouTube: Words Fly Away