(Photo credit: Erik Schmitt, Paris Decaying)
Photographer Erik Schmitt examines his lifelong relationship with books and his hesitancy to discard them despite the slow environmental slurring of their once prized speech.
As a child I was surrounded by an infinite variety of books — sitting on shelves, piled in disordered stacks, and stored in heavy brown boxes. My father, a professor, found it impossible to give a book up after it had crossed the threshold into our home. In my adult life books continue to surround and captivate me and I’ve been exploring them as photographic subject matter for years.
Periodically I have noticed the slow process of decay as it consumes books left in dark, moist closets or in the trunk of an old car — blooms of multi-colored growth creeping over canvas covers and obliterating titles. In this series I’ve encouraged this process by creating environments perfect for decay to set in, and then recording the results. Each photograph documents a moment in this long process of decay.
Check out the rest of the Decaying project and more of Erik’s work at www.cargocollective.com/erikschmitt