Mental journey

Jochem Hendricks – Reisebibliothek

Jochem Hendricks, Reisebibliothek, 1995, book dummies, wooden shelf, world map, stickers, 130 x 270 x 20 cm Courtesy of the artist, © Jochem Hendricks, photo: Rolf Abraham

Quo Vadis? is the first book of Jochem Hendricks’ well-stocked Reisebibliothek. It is placed on a wooden shelf, the outside of which is covered with municipal coats of arms and international registration codes. If one follows the titles of the books, travel guides, and city maps, a journey around the world unfolds, which begins in Frankfurt, crosses Europe, and leads to America, Africa, and Asia. The return to Germany finally is accompanied by the book Gute kleine Stadt, wo das Glück zu Hause wartet. The installation is completed with a world map; hence it offers all the popular media of the last century one needs to be well prepared. 

But the aura of a youthful thirst for adventure and wanderlust shatters when the bibliophile collection turns out to be a mere dummy. Even the world map, a Mercator projection, shows only a distorted view of the world. What remains are the travel souvenirs in one’s mind or the fresh longing for the travels that still lie ahead.