Thursday, 11 March 2010

The tear collector

As melancholy strikes before springtime and Virgin Atlantic goodbye dinners, I could not help but stumbling upon a discourse between Photographer Zack Bent and journalist Paul Schmelzer. The interview is about Bent's piece called Lachrymatory — a collection of his tears and the tears of his wife and children. 

Tears fall often in our house. Collecting them in the vial became a similar ritual to kissing a bump on the head. It became an act of love. This is a case where my art practice heightened the quality of our inter-family relationships and made physically manifest our maternal and paternal care giving … The title Lachrymatory comes from the ancient tear catching vials that were often filled by grieving widows. I collect a lot of tears as a father. The piece definitely memorializes mourning and weakness. The result of the collection is salt; an element of preservation.

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