Scale for Determining the Weight of a Soul, 2005
Apothecary scale, brass bells, lead
16” x 14” x 5”
In the writings of the Brothers Grimm, a tale is recited regarding the early Germanic notion that since bells had “voices” that they must have souls and therefore could be possessed or have their souls entrapped. Thus, during the Middle Ages, many town and church bells were baptized.
Coming from the perspective of one who would be investigating the properties of the soul, an elementary question might be “How much does the soul weigh?” This piece approaches the question by trying to detect the difference in weight of a soul that has been baptized and a soul that has not.
Both of the bells are of European origin and take the form of young women. The difference being that one of the bells has been formally baptized.