Marble in Metamorphosis contemplates the physical and cultural life of marble. It explores the ethics, politics and symbolism of its use and deliberates over the spirit of the material and why some cultures so revere and desire it. In reflecting on the deep relationship between marble and human culture, it considers the social and historical function of the material throughout time.
Marble in Metamorphosis features a new essay on marble and its uses written by Rachel Cusk, who – while on a trip to a marble bearing island in Greece’s Aegean sea – writes on the modern notion of classicism, the fate of monuments through history and the tension between classicism and realism in art and architecture. Chris Kontos’ photographic series explores two landscapes marked by marble and its uses: the island of Tinos, with its centuries-old tradition of marble mining and craft; and Athens, which has an ancient and enduring connection to marble evident in its ubiquitous presence throughout the city. These photographs tell a story of extraction, craft, tradition, and how meaning is made and remade through marble as a material in the city.