Created and organized by writer and curator David Campany, A Handful of Dust is a speculative history of the 20th century, tracing a visual journey through the imagery of dust from aerial reconnaissance, wartime destruction and natural disasters to urban decay, domestic dirt and forensics.
The starting point of the exhibition is a 1920 photograph taken by American artist Man Ray of Marcel Duchamp’s work in progress The Large Glass (1915–23) deliberately left to gather dust in his New York studio. First published in André Breton’s seminal Surrealist journal, Littérature in 1922 and captioned as a ‘view from an aeroplane’ by Man Ray, the photograph went on to appear in various journals, books and magazines, cropped and contextualized differently each time, before the image was formally titled Élevage de poussière (Dust Breeding) (1920) in 1964.
A Handful of Dust was originally conceived for Le Bal, Paris in 2015. A version was presented at the Pratt Institute, New York in 2016 and it will travel on to Moderna Museet, Stockholm in September-December 2018. David Campany is a curator and writer. His books include The Open Road: photography and the American Road Trip (Aperture, 2014), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (Afterall, 2012) and Art and Photography (Phaidon 2003). He teaches at the University of Westminster.
Artists and photographers featured: Laure Albin Guillot, Rut Bees Luxemburg, Jacques-André Boiffard, Brassai, Robert Burley, John Divola, Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Robert Filliou, John Gerrard, Mona Kuhn, Bruce Nauman, Louise Oates, Kirk Palmer, Man Ray, Jeff Mermelstein, Alan Resnais, Xavier Ribas, Gerhard Richter, Sophie Ristelheuber, Edward Ruscha, Aaron Siskind, Giorgio Sommer, Eva Stenram, Shomei Tomatsu, Jeff Wall, Nick Waplington, Wols, Tereza Zelenkova.