David Maisel ~ History's Shadow

I decided to repost this entry as there was a wonderful article about David's work in the New York Times yesterday titled The Heart of the Art. His work continues to amaze me it is depth, originality and metaphorical references. There is a slide show where you can view his work here.

Here is the post from November 2009...

David Maisel has once again pushed the boundaries of photography while exploring memory and excavation. While at a residency at the Getty Research Institute, he states that he began exploring "where the realms of art and scientific research overlap each other. While photographing the Getty Museum’s conservation departments, I became captivated by x-rays of art objects from the museum’s permanent collections. The ghostly images of these x-rays seem to surpass the power of the original objects of art. These spectral renderings seemed like transmissions from the distant past, conveying messages across time."

"History’s Shadow comprises my series of re-photographed x-rays of art objects from antiquity. I have culled these x-rays from museum archives, which utilize them for conservation purposes. Through the x-ray process, the artworks of origin become de-familiarized and de-contextualized, yet acutely alive and renewed."

"I view these x-rays as expressions of the artists and artisans who created the original objects, however many centuries ago; as vestiges and indicators of the societies that produced these works; and as communications from the past, expressing immutable qualities that somehow remain constant over time."

For those of you who are not familiar with David's work, it is well worth your time to visit his website. He has done some amazing work, including his Mining Project and his Library of Dust series

“. . . these canisters hold the cremated remains of patients from an American psychiatric hospital. Oddly reminiscent of bullet casings, the canisters are literal gravesites. Reacting with their ash inhabitants, the canisters are now blooming with secondary minerals, articulating new metallic landscapes.”

— Geoff Manaugh, Contemporary