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The Catacombs
of Bookholm

– September 2012 –

Buchhaim TEXT (ENG)


The catacombs of Bookholm

The model of the catacombs of Buchhaim (based on the novel «The City of Dreaming Books» by Walter Moers) is without doubt the most insane of my projects. It is a depiction of the Buchhaim catacombs, which underground tunnels criss-cross a large block of rock and earth - like an ant farm. Some of the main settings (the leathern cave, the crystal garden and the garbage dump Unhaim ) are also depicted. In addition to this underground area, a section of the city of Buchhaim and its main settings can be seen at the top of the block.

Catacombs of Bookhollm (c) Kassiopeya 2012

 In total, I worked for about 1.5 years on this immense project, whose basic idea was originally born out of a wine mood. I had discovered the novel shortly after completing the Villa Nightmare and had chosen it as the new object of my enthusiasm. One evening when I was chatting about the novel with a friend, she was raving about how great it would be to capture this setting in a model. However, she added a little sadly, this would probably be impossible, as a proper reproduction would have to be at least four cubic metres in size. I had my doubts and announced that it would be possible to scale it down... in this case, of course, the settings could not be shown in its entirety but only sketched out ... and that would be possible if you placed the cave and the garbage dump at the corners of the block ... and - boom - a thought had taken root that started to tickle more and more.

And after three days, I found myself at the hardware store buying all kinds of  materials...

 And here it is. In the meantime, the former Handycam pictures of the old gallery have finally been replaced by much more professional photographs. These were taken by photographer Britta Radike, who shot the model in 2013 with much love, effort and attention to detail.
By the way, for those who would like to have a look at the emergence of the catacombs, here is the work-in-progress gallery

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