Concentration Camp Ashes Used to Make Art

Swedish artist mixes up the ashes with water, uses the solution to paint

By on December 10th, 2012 06:36 GMT

I fully support the idea of recycling and finding new uses for things that would otherwise go to waste, and I’ve very much enjoyed seeing Honey Boo Boo have her portrait made entirely out of trash.

However, the idea of taking the ashes of those who died in concentration camps, mixing these remains with water and using the resulting solution to paint does not sit very well with me.

According to Gawker, Carl Michael von Hausswolff's latest work of art was obtained precisely in this manner. The exhibition, entitled Memory Works, is currently on display at the Martin Bryder Gallery in Lund, and it is causing quite a media stir.

This Swedish artist claims that he only did what he did in the name of art, and that the ashes, once mixed with water and used to paint, “speak” to him. More precisely, he can distinguish the figures and “hear” the voices of those tortured during the Holocaust.

In case anyone was wondering, Carl Michael von Hausswolff got the ashes from the Majdanek concentration camp, which he visited back in 1989. It is believed that 360,000 people died there.

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