Mourning Prayer

Mourning Prayer, 2000 / Edition of 20 / Hand-stamping on Dobbin Mill papers

Size: 4” x 13” x 1.5”

The 186 translucent pages refer to the actual number of steps of the Staircase of Death at Mauthausen.  Each is divided into 3 sections and stamped with hand-carved numbers and text.  The monotony of the pagination and endless sequence of numbers acts as a mantra and compliment to the ‘prayer’ comprised of a series of similar-sounding words: step, steep, stomp, stamp, stop, slip, slap, and spit.  The format & design of Mourning Prayer replicates a ticketing booklet common in Central Europe.

 

Additional Information:

 

The stone quarry at Mauthausen, in Lower Austria, was originally owned by the City of Vienna & was taken over by the SS in 1938.  It was the base for a labor camp during WWII where inmates were exterminated through labor, mainly in the quarry, a concept of "Primitivbauweise" - created by SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, where prisoners were ordered to work with their bare hands wherever possible.

The focus of this work is the "Todessteige", or Staircase of Death.  Prisoners were forced to carry blocks of stone (up to 50 kilos in weight) up these stairs out of the quarry, often dying in the process.  

The complete text (over the 186 pages):

step       step       step       step       step       step  step step step step step step step step step step steep steep steep  steep  steep slump stop slip stop step step step step step  step step  step step step step stomp  stomp  step  stomp  step  step  step  steep  stomp  steep  stomp  steep  steep  steep slip slip  stop  slap slump  spit  step step step spit step step step step step steep step steep stamp stamp step stamp stamp step steep stomp stomp stomp stomp slip slap stop spit slump step steep step step step step step step step step stamp stomp step step step step step step step spit stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp slump slap stop spit step step step step step stop step step step step step step step stamp step step steep steep step steep steep step steep steep steep step step step stamp steep slip spit steep step stomp steep stamp steep step steep step step step step step step step step step step step step steep steep step slip stomp slump stomp stomp step step step slump step step step