Crystallized Banned Books Series

The crystallized banned book series celebrates and immortalizes the beauty, power and timelessness of books. Each book, banned by a range of institutions and for a variety of reasons, is frozen in time by crystallization and transformed into an enduring piece of art; a geological artifact. I want to show that regardless of constantly changing political beliefs, and shifting societal values, words and books are ageless and will survive. These crystallized books symbolize the tenacity and persistence of truth through language despite attempts throughout history to lock books and ideas away from the hands and hearts of readers.

Books have been burned, banned and challenged throughout history for multiple reasons. More recently, in the1930’s, the Nazi’s purged books by fire, and present day book banning includes the popular Harry Potter series which have been banned in the U.S. more than any other books. Notwithstanding human’s continuous onslaught on intellectual freedom — books, and all the wisdom and joy they bring, will live on.

Crystallized Banned Books Series

1 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

book, borax, 71/2 x 10 x 2
Rather than ban the book about book-banning outright, Venado Middle school in Irvine, CA (1992) utilized a revised version of the text in which all the “hells” and “damns” were blacked out. Other complaints about the book were that there were references to being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, “dirty talk,” and using God’s name in vain.

2 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

book, borax, 9 x 7 x 21/2
Rather than ban the book about book-banning outright, Venado Middle school in Irvine, CA (1992) utilized a revised version of the text in which all the “hells” and “damns” were blacked out. Other complaints about the book that led to its banning in other states were that there were references to being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, “dirty talk,” and using God’s name in vain.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple
book, borax, 8 x 91/2 x 3

Although The Color Purplewon a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award if you point a finger randomly anywhere on the map of the United States, chances are you’ll find a state that banned or challenged The Color Purplebecause of “its troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality.”

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
book, borax, 8 x 7 x 3

In 1885, it was the first book banned in the United States by librarians in Concord, Massachusetts who deemed it “trash” and “suitable only for the slums.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
book, borax, 8 x 10 x 2

The Kite Runner appeared on the top ten of the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of frequently challenged books in 2008 because of vulgar language and depicting a rape in graphic detail.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
book, borax, 7 x 81/2 x 1
The Catcher in the Rye
is one of the most frequently banned or censored books of the century. Some of the claims about the book include: “excessive vulgar language, filthy scenes, depicts alcohol abuse and premarital sex, and promotes immoral issues.”

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
book, borax, 8 x 11 x 2

In 2006, Kansas banned Charlotte’s Webbecause “talking animals are blasphemous and unnatural” and passages about the spider dying were also criticized as being “inappropriate subject matter for a children’s book.”

Where the Wild Things Areby Maurice Sendak
book, borax, 91/2 x11 x 3/4

In 1969, in the American South, a boy throwing a tantrum was considered dangerous behavior and Sendak was accused of glorifying Max’s anger — prompting psychologists to condemn Where the Wild Things Are as“too dark and frightening for children.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
book, borax, 9 x 10 x 2

This book has been challenged throughout the years for reasons related to its raw honesty and its realistic situations and characters. Hurston’s training as an anthropologist can be heard in her faithfully transcribed dialects from her upbringing in South Florida. Her work was lost for decades as her reputation sank by those who believed that her use of dialect made her characters sound ignorant and uneducated until the writer Alice Walker rediscovered her after Hurston’s death.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsby Maya Angelou
book, borax, 8 x 10 x 2

Consistentlychallengedforcontainingprofanity.ThenovelwasaccusedbyaTexasschoolofcontaining“grossevils.”