Library of Dust.
Photographs by David Maisel. Essays by Geoff Manaugh, Terry Toedtemeier, and Michael Roth
Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2008. 108 pp., 80 color illustrations., 13¼x17".
Esteemed photographer David Maisel has created a somber
and beautiful series of images depicting canisters containing
the cremated remains of the unclaimed dead from an
Oregon psychiatric hospital. Dating back as far as the nineteenth
century, these canisters have undergone chemical
reactions, causing extravagant blooms of brilliant white,
green, and blue corrosion, revealing unexpected beauty
in the most unlikely of places. This stately volume is both
a quietly astonishing body of fine art from a preeminent
contemporary photographer, and an exceptionally poignant
monument to the unknown deceased.
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