Artist Abigail Reynolds travelled to the sites of fifteen former great libraries along the Silk Road to consider what a library means today. Her new work for The Harris displays rare books and the oldest photograph from the Harris collection, alongside a moving image work giving voices to these objects and exploring the secret places of the Harris.
‘By the reflection of light’ is a moving image work, whose subject is the nature of reality and how perception is inflected by photography. Intimately close, we see the objects from the cabinet in a network of connected imagery. They are in dialogue with each other and with the artist as she travels through the Harris Museum and to the River Ribble. The objects from the Harris collection discuss the rites of the dead, contemporary disappearance within the digital, the absence at the center of the museum and the fugitive rainbow-like state of being alive.
Music Composition and Sound Design by Chris Baker.
This work is on display in The Harris Museum in Preston.
Image: Taken from The Book of the Dead. The Papyrus of Anhai, British Museum, 1899