Slipcast Royal Copenhagen porcelain, glaze, gold lustre, book ash, 100X18X15cm, 2016 - 2019 (ongoing).

Where They Burn Books was created during the Project Network Symposium (session II) at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre, Skaelskor, Denmark (January - February 2016).

Primarily acting as a memorial to the 1933 Nazi book burnings, where over 25,000 volumes of text were deemed “Un-German” and subsequently destroyed: ‘Where They Burn Books,’ references the power, resilience and preciousness of knowledge, which is made increasingly apparent through the act of burning books for the purpose of oppression.

By strengthening these ceramic objects through the firing process; they stand as martyrs to freedom of speech, and in a contemporary context, they celebrate current societies unprecedented access to text and information.

Displayed amongst the installation are dark forms, which were created from the compressed ashes of every book used to produce this work.

The title acknowledges the writing of nineteenth-century German Jewish poet, Heinrich Heine, who’s play Almawnsor (1820-21), was burnt in 1933 Germany. Within his play Heine wrote: “Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”


Photography: Ole  Akhoj



Background photograph by Alec Shultz.