art, photography

Library of Dust – David Maisel

When David Maisel was visiting an old, disused psychiatric hospital, he was beckoned into a small room by a A prisoner who had been brought in from the local jail to clean up the building, who had gotten to know the building well. The prisoner referred to the room as The Library of Dust and David was soon to discover that it was crammed floor-to-ceiling with nearly 4000 identical copper tins containing the ashes of patients who had died in the hospital from the 1880s to the 1970s. Respectfully, David took a selection of the canisters and photographed them in turn, segregating them and focusing on the incredible, luminous patterns that had now formed on the decaying copper.

“The room housing these canisters is an attempt at order, categorisation and rationality to be imposed upon randomness, chaos, and the irrational.” Says David, “The canisters, however, insistently and continually change their form over time; they are chemical and alchemical sites of transformation, both organic and mineralogical, living and dead. The Library of Dust describes this labyrinth, and in doing so, gives form to the forgotten.”

lod_ca1_m_06 lod_ca1_m_08 lod_ca1_m_05 lod_ca1_m_07 lod_ca1_m_10 lod_ca1_m_15 lod_ca1_m_16 lod_ca2_m_03 lod_ca2_m_06 lod_ca1_m_13 lod_ca1_m_14 lod_ca1_m_11



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