Basalt / Arne Schmitt
Origin Usage Exaltation
Arne Schmitt's (born 1984) new photobook is devoted to a single material—basalt, a volcanic rock that has been mined for thousands of years in the German Osteifel quarries of Mayen and Mendig.
Basalt's hardness, coupled with its porous structure, made it an ideal raw material for millstones, and it thus became a commodity that was traded far and wide. In the Osteifel region, local houses were built from basalt. In the boom years that began midway through the 19th century, an entire construction culture developed around the material, with the result that on many streets the houses still have a matte dark-grey appearance.
Schmitt’s black-and-white photographs juxtapose the different states, treatment processes, and applications of the rock. These features bring into focus its transformation into a cultural product.
Designed by Timo Grimberg
Published by Spector Books, 2018
Softcover, 172 pages, 150 black and white images, 8.25 × 11.75 inches