|Subtitle||What Lot’s Wife Would’ve Said (If She Wasn’t a Pillar of Salt)|
|Artist / Creator||Daniel R. Smith|
|Press Name||Daniel R. Smith|
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Seattle, WA|
|Author of Text||Karen Finneyfrock|
|Contributors||Collaboration with Seattle poet Karen Finneyfrock|
|Process / Technique||Digital printing|
|Number of Images||1|
|Structure / Binding||Double-stick tape|
|Medium / Materials||Store-bought salt container wrapped with digital print|
|Paper Stock||24lb white|
|Number of Pages||1|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||3.5 x 5.25 x 3.5 inches|
|Edition Size||Limited edition of 100|
|Signed & Numbered||Signed & Numbered Edition|
Mortal Salt by Daniel R. Smith (Second Edition)
Karen Finneyfrock’s What Lot’s Wife Would’ve Said (If She Wasn’t a Pillar of Salt) is a moving poem that draws parallels between Lot’s flight from Sodom and Gomorrah and the on-going AIDs crisis circa 2011. In the hands of Daniel R. Smith this serious poem is recast as consumer parody. Replacing every word of an existing label, from the nutrition facts to the bar code, he repackaged store-bought, corporate salt canisters with Finneyfrock’s poem. The first edition of 100 canisters in sold out to collectors and institutions, including SF MoMA, Emory University, Yale University, University of Washington, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). A second edition of Mortal Salt was created for a 2019 book arts exhibition at BIMA.
WHAT LOT’S WIFE WOULD HAVE SAID
(IF SHE WASN’T A PILLAR OF SALT)
By Karen Finneyfrock
Do you remember when we met
in Gomorrah? When you were still beardless,
and I would oil my hair in the lamp light before seeing
you, when we were young, and blushed with youth
like bruised fruit. Did we care, then,
what our neighbors did
in the dark?
When our first daughter was born
on the River Jordan, when our second
cracked her pink head from my body
like a promise, did we worry
what our friends might be
doing with their tongues?
What new crevices they found
to lick love into or strange flesh
to push pleasure from, when we
called them Sodomites then,
all we meant by it
When the angels told us to run
from the city, I went with you,
but even the angels knew
that women always look back.
Let me describe for you, Lot,
what your city looked like burning
since you never turned around to see it.
Sulfur ran its sticky fingers over the skin
of our countrymen. It smelled like burning hair
and rancid eggs. I watched as our friends pulled
chunks of brimstone from their faces. Is any form
of loving this indecent?
Cover your eyes tight
husband, until you see stars, convince
yourself you are looking at Heaven.
Because any man weak enough to hide his eyes while his neighbors
are punished for the way they love deserves a vengeful god.
I would say these things to you now, Lot,
but an Ocean has dried itself on my tongue.
So instead I will stand here, while my body blows itself
grain by grain back over the Land of Canaan.
I will stand here
and I will watch you
Artist BioDaniel R. Smith is an artist, creative director, and curator of design projects in Seattle. A northwest native, he grew up on the Tulalip Reservation and later graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in both fine art and design. As a fine artist he’s exhibited at the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), Bumbershoot, Bellevue Art Museum and SOIL gallery. His work can be found in the permanent collections of Seattle City Light, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, MoPop, SF MoMA, Emory University, Yale University, and University of Washington. Deeply involved in the local design community, he spent a decade organizing a series of poster exhibitions for Seattle’s largest arts and culture festival, Bumbershoot, connecting his home to other cities internationally: The Seattle-Havana Poster Show (2007), The Seattle-Tehran Poster Show (2008), The Seattle-Moscow Poster Show (2009) and The Seattle-Havana-Tehran Poster Show (aka “The SHT Show,” 2015), and The Seattle-Istanbul Poster Show (2017). Sticking closer to home during the pandemic he created “the nanoforest,” a tiny slice of native plants in an inner-city parking spot, now a platform for photoshoots and more: Instagram @thenanoforest. More information at mortalsalt.com