Returning Burton's Plunder (2012)
The book was produced in an edition of three – each one sealed on completion
with a bellyband. Burton was the official photographer of Howard Carter and recoded the
discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Burton's images capture the sequence of discovery,
but also, inadvertantly the plunder of cultural artefacts. The concept was to reproduce
several of his images using Fox Talbot’s salt print process, but leave them unfixed. From
the time the seal is broken and the book opened, the images fade a little more until they
eventually fade to black. This inbuilt destruction prompted by the very act of reading
creates an absurd dilemma for the viewer. Do they continue to look at the unstable
images on the page or do they keep the book closed? Alongside the images is
my own text together with edited excerpts from Carter’s matter-of fact diary
of the same time.
24pp silver nitrate/ salt prints and inkjet on pulp paper, buckram
cover with paper bellyband seal. Staple bound 140×140.
Edition of three