during design miami 09, gallery libby sellers presented tidal ossuary, a collective work by julia lohmann and gero grundmann. the series is an open edition of mixed materials including polished bone, silver, resin and stainless steel.

ossuary 1. a receptacle for the bones of the dead; a bone-vault, charnel-house; a bone-urn 2. a bone-cave, or deposit formed largely of bones, belonging to late geological times 3. of or for the deposit of the bones of the dead

grundmann and lohmann’s investigations into the origins of bones and their displacement on the banks of the river thames, suggest that they are 19th century waste that was thrown into london’s victorian sewer system and fed out into the river. given the thames’ proximity to london’s smithfield meat market and the underground waterways that link the market to the river, the designers believe the bones are by-products of the victorian meat industry. their fascination with the waste lies in the resonant histories inherent in the bones and the narratives which they trigger. once deemed as rubbish, these remants of meals long past have survived beyond their supposed use-by-date and will now be turned into objects of use and worth. for grundmann and lohmann, questioning value systems – where the overlooked and discarded are given new purpose and meaning – is paramount.

julia lohmann and gero grundmann at design miami 09 all works are courtesy gallery libby sellers

committee report, 1836 the thames…receives the excrementitious matter from nearly a million and a half human beings; the washings of their foul linen; the filth and refuse of many hundred manufactories; the offal and decomposing vegetable substances from the markets; the foul and gory liquid from the slaughter-houses, and the purulent abominations form hospitals and dissecting rooms, too disgusting in detail. thus the most noble river, which has been given to us by providence for our health, recreation and beneficial use, is converted into the common sewer of london, and the sickening mixture it contains is daily pumped up with water as a common beverage for the inhabitants of the most civilized capital in europe. cited in alber boime, art in an age of civil struggle, 1848-1871

tidal ossuary will be the next exhibition presented by gallery libby sellers at the jacqueline rabun space, in london. the show will run from february 8th, 2010 to march 4th, 2010.