Artifacts don't come much more personal than this - Nina Simone's chewed and spat gum, wrapped in a towel, untouched since disposal - and since 1999 the property of Bad Seed Warren Ellis.
The gum was a sacred totem for Ellis, a source of strength and a creative muse for twenty years - until the day came that his friend and bandmate Nick Cave asked him if he had anything to donate to an exhibition titled 'Stranger Than Kindness'.
This is a story of a prosaic piece of chewing gum made lofty and divine - of its ascendency to the position of encased and exulted exhibit. It is a story of aura, of the meaning we attribute to something, and, ultimately, a kind of spirituality. As Ellis writes (and he writes very well) "the things we collect are the things that are of significance to us first and foremost."
This beautifully published hardback by Faber & Faber is illustrated throughout - with photographs and, often hilariously, screengrabs of Warren's own texts. Brilliant.
Size: 160 x 210mm
Publisher: Faber & Faber