Gold Custody – Barbara Bloom, Ben Lerner


MACK, 2021
Softbound, 20 x 25 cm
104 pages, color and black and white photographs

Available on backorder

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Underground tunnels where gold is moved back and forth between vaults. I like to imagine that’s my job, that I stack gold on pallets underneath Manhattan and transport them short distances with a  forklift, that I literalize the day’s trades, that I have a career in “gold custody”.
A world needs gold bars moving underground, although they cannot be pure; if they were pure they’d be too malleable to hold their shape over time and so each bar contains a small amount of other metals – copper, iron, silver, platinum, which gives the gold a whitish shade.

What happens to an image or a phrase when it is re-encountered, recontextualized, recombined — when a particular frame of reference is established or collapses? How is meaning accrued or eroded through repetition, across pages or generations? How are images or sentences enlisted in — or suddenly freed from — the construction of our personal and collective mythologies?

In this collaborative book, bringing together Bloom’s artworks and Lerner’s prose poems, these questions are rendered beautiful as they are sensitively felt, veering between the promises of abstraction — ‘the showroom of grammar, its glitter and ghosts,’ collective nouns, songs without lyrics that everyone can sing — and verbal and visual languages of extreme privacy.

Through photography, installations, film and books, Barbara Bloom explores notions of musicology, design and collecting.
Her seductive use of shadows, traces, Braille, broken objects and watermarks demonstrate an unwavering interest in visualising the fragile workings of memory, the ephemeral and the absent-invisible presences activated by our gaze.

Weight 1 kg


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