Talya Lubinsky (born 1988 in South Africa) meticulously explores basic materials in her works which she uses to convey poetic meaning. The book presents her latest work “Marble Dust”. In the course of her research on cemeteries in South Africa, the artist discovered a place where political prisoners were buried who had been sentenced to death by the apartheid state in the 1960s. The remains of the murdered activists were disinterred between 2016 and 2019, and their bodies that had crumbled to dust were returned to their families.
For her project, Lubinsky studied the old ledgers that list grave numbers, names, and dates. She traced the outlines of their pages – most of which are torn – onto marble and cut out the shapes.
In this way, she has impressively reversed the vulnerability of paper and has translated it into a durable material that is composed of calcium, as are bones, and is frequently used for tombstones. The specific qualities of the material in Lubinsky’s art therefore act as a catalyst for reflection on their meaning.