Tuesday, June 29, 2010

David Maisel’s Library of Dust

David Maisel is a photographer I follow. He put together a fascinating project called Library of Dust recently. It’s coming to the UCR/California Museum of Photography on August 31, 2010.  I plan to catch the show.

Library of Dust depicts individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of patient from a state-run psychiatric hospital. The patients died at the hospital between 1883 (the year the facility opened, when it was called the Oregon State Insane Asylum) and the 1970’s; their bodies have remained unclaimed by their families.

FLYP did a profile of David Maisel in 2009. There is a video page two that is interesting.

I find the whole concept of anonymous canned human ashes to be a good metaphor for the existential futility and singular loneliness of life. Plus I think the photos are cool.

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