Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Collecting Tears as an Act of Love

Collecting tears

There is a wonderful conversation between photographer Zack Bent and journalist Paul Schmelzer over at Eyeteeth. Bent speaks of a piece of his called Lachrymatory—a clear vial he uses to collect his tears and the tears of his wife and children. He explains:

Tears fall often in our house. Collecting them in the vial became a similar ritual to kissing a bump on the head. It became an act of love. This is a case where my art practice heightened the quality of our inter-family relationships and made physically manifest our maternal and paternal care giving … The title Lachrymatory comes from the ancient tear catching vials that were often filled by grieving widows. I collect a lot of tears as a father. The piece definitely memorializes mourning and weakness. The result of the collection is salt; an element of preservation.

Source: Eyeteeth

Image courtesy of Zack Bent.