The Library of Fallen Tears

 

The How We Never Cry Alone series seeks to equip humanity for survival on the damaged multi-species planet in constant crisis, conflicts and uncertainty.

The Library of Fallen Tears is a teardrop filled with vials of dried tear microbiome hanging above the pool of water. The artwork employs hydrofeminist powers of forging relations and situates human beings in the world entangled with Others, beyond the individual, personal, isolated existence. The Library of Fallen Tears intends to show how radical vulnerability yields connections and how Others emerge as a communities when we stay with the troubles and pains of interconnected living. Though the Others in The Library of Fallen Tears installation are microbial, they imply an expanded understanding of Others as all that is not Us – all the invisible, ignored, oppressed, forgotten, disregarded and neglected humans and other-than-humans alike. The Others in our tears are thus not only microbial on a material plane, but also leave traces on the emotional plane. Once we extend our compassions beyond the idea of us and feel wider ecological grief the sufferings of Others can become reasons for our falling tears.
 


 

For Namida, the girl in the video story, The Library of Fallen Tears is a way to collect and store, to identify the tears and remember, encapsulate the experience. On the one hand the pool of water commemorates the moment when the crying person comprehends that there is life beyond the tears. On the other hand the water provides a possibility of revival of the stored lyophilised tear microbial communities. The pool brings the notion of impermanence to the installation, acknowledging that nothing is isolated and any conservation will at some point in [deep] time give in to inevitable transformation. Live life beyond the tears.

 

The Library of Fallen Tears, 2022
Saša Spačal

Microbiologist: Mirjan Švagelj, PhD
Architect: Blaž Šolar
Glassblower: Zvonko Drobnič
Assembly: Kisoon Eom
Production: Urban Art Lab Seoul and Projekt Atol

 
Current Exhibition
Digital Resonance Exhibition, curators Seungah Lee, Jyeongyeon Kim, Gwangju Media Art Platform – G.MAP, Gwangju City Museum of Art, Korea [June 2022 – May 2023]
 

The Library of Fallen Tears
Saša Spačal

Biotechnological Installation

2022