This piece is part of An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street - a response to violence in Iraq from the arts community. On March 5th 2007, a car bomb was exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad. Al-Mutanabbi Street is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, and the heart of the Baghdad intellectual and literary community. Each artist participating in the Inventory was tasked with creating a minimum of three books in response to the bombing - to remember those killed and help rebuild the inventory of books lost that day.
My contribution to the project, Trace, is an attempt to understand the far-reaching impact of books. The attack on Al-Mutanabbi Street was an attack on those seeking knowledge, solace, companionship, or vision in books, and thus my subject became the reader. The images on the cover are created from digital scans of fingerprints left on discarded library books. I chose library books, in particular, because they have passed through the hands of countless people over long periods of time; the trace of a person's contact with the books is hidden from the naked eye, but exists nonetheless. I have sealed the pages of the library books so that they may no longer be read.