David Maisel’s Library of Dust
David Maisel offers up another jarring suite of photographs entitled “Library of Dust” on his website, and at Lens Culture. His photographs of oxidized and rusted canisters containing the cremated remains of patients from a state run psychiatric hospital in Oregon, who died there and whose family never collected upon death, are a richly colorful, yet stark collection of images representing a bureaucratic cataloging nightmare. A creepy and tidy response to death of people who most likely suffered from mental illness brought about by the complexity of modern life. I think of On Kawara’s work, only real and without artistic pretense.