23 February 2014

Clay books at the V&A

Wandering in the beautiful, peaceful Ceramics galleries… and finding work by Sara Radstone -

and Halim al Karim  (whose BA was in ceramics (1988) but who now works with photography) -

Two sorts of "ghosts" in clay. Unreadable books … stripped of access to their contents -  the title doesn't fit with my understanding of what a ghost is; but what might it be?  From wikipedia: "the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living"; they etymology also relates to "spiritus" in the sense of a breath or blast. "The modern noun does, however, retain a wider field of application, extending on one hand to "soul", "spirit", "vital principle", "mind" or "psyche", the seat of feeling, thought and moral judgement; on the other hand used figuratively of any shadowy outline, fuzzy or unsubstantial image, in optics, photography and cinematography especially a flare, secondary image or spurious signal."

Metaphorically, Nietszche's usage can enlighten us: he "argued that people generally wear prudent masks in company; but that an alternative strategy for social interaction is to present oneself as an absence, as a social ghost". An absence … a ghost can also be used in the sense of an impression of the past.

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