Icons in Ash, A Collaborative Conceptual Artist's Book. 268 pages, 19 images, Station Hill Press, Barrytown, New York, in association with Ubu Gallery, NYC, 2017
(If you would like to get the book, please order at STORE on this website, or send your inquiry to email@example.com)
The art of the human image arose millennia ago as a way beyond impermanence and, especially, to keep the dead among us. The pictorial object "the icon" often carried a charge as ritual or ceremonial artifact and, indeed, as a thing with a certain power. The artist Heide Hatry has extended this tradition by creating realistic portraits made out of the actual ashes of the departed person portrayed. Are the results reminiscent of ancient sacred and secular traditions and their complex, even mysterious function to, say, calm, enrich or transform our experience? Icons in Ash includes seventeen of Hatry's portraits and twenty-seven contemporary writers who explore this phenomenon in original and engaging meditations on death, the dead body, art, relics, psychology, philosophy, religion, mourning, evolution, transformation, and immortality. Contributors include Michaël Amy, Hans Belting, Stanley B. Burns and Elizabeth A. Burns, Mark Dery, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, Anthony Haden-Guest, Heide Hatry, Eleanor Heartney, Phoebe Hoban, Siri Hustvedt, Gavin Keeney, Thomas W. Laqueur, Deborah Lutz, Jonas Mekas, Lydia Millet, Rick Moody, Marc Pachter, Steven Pinker, George Quasha, Claudia Steinberg, Wolf Singer, Adele Tutter, Luisa Valenzuela, Peter Weibel, Linda Weintraub, Franz Josef Wetz, John Wronoski, and Naief Yehya.