From Dreams to Ashes

From Dreams to Ashes, 1999 / Varied edition of 4 / Archival inkjet printed photos, printed & handwritten text, mugwort, and abaca Dobbin Mill papers, matches

Size: 12” x 8.3” x 7.5”

On loan from the Brooklyn Museum Libraries Special Collections

Contained inside From Dreams to Ashes are two books with texts about a woman’s secret & dreams. The first book’s prose is based on a dream, hand-written on matches embedded into the fore-edges of the paper. Their bright blue heads are clearly not burnt: looking at someone else’s inner world can be dangerous. The paper is made from mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, also known as St. John’s Plant, Sailor’s Tobacco, or Felon Herb), a common weed that was used in colonial times to stuff pillows, because, as a mild hallucinogen, it brought vivid and prophetic dreams. The two materials, mugwort & matches, become a cohesive and inseparable element of the work, offering fantasies and destruction simultaneously. The interspersed photographic images of young boys add a bitter-sweetness to the dream sequence. Taking Hold of the Night, the compendium is printed on translucent papers so the prose text, based on a month of actual dreaming, overlaps and the photo imagery.

 

Additional thoughts:

This artist book, about nightmares, was made for the centenary traveling exhibition of Sigmund Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams." “Dreams 1990 – 2000” was on exhibition in four locations, 1999 - 2001: Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Austria, Binghamton University Art Museum, NY, Passage de Retz, Paris, France & Equitable Art Gallery, NYC.