Love Under Mercury

by Hawley, Steve

Video 2000

Duration
34
Screens
1
Funder
Arts Council of England/Great Britain

A 16mm film, Love Under Mercury is about science, transformation, and tragedy. Louis Daguerre invented the Daguerrotype when some drops of mercury, accidentally spilled from a broken thermometer in a cupboard, developed his iodised photographic plates, and thus revolutionised photography. But some years later the early Daguerrotypists developed symptoms of mercury poisoning - irritability, insomnia, and 'childish over-emotionalism'. Just the very symptoms of love melancholy. Like Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter they had been poisoned by the mercury vapour.

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