“In this exhibit, Dettmer continues his investigation of the book as both artifact and object- a kind of intersection of sculpture, information technology, poetic text and historical tract. Each separate work pursues and promotes its own philosophical, economic or political agenda while at the same time asserting its specific form, or sculptural reconfiguration. The books take on a life of their own- as an original, compelling means of presenting text or graphic elements, but also revealing in the process fresh subtexts, and visual juxtapositions. This revealed symbology begins to make new connections, often re-arranging disparate pieces of information which then create new meanings. New narratives stream from his arrangement of fragments and images- a hijacking, or intervention of the existing form resulting in a work of art uniquely his own.” (from Toomey Tourell)
There are only a few more days to see Atlanta based artist Brian Dettmer’s exhibition entitled “Altered Books” at Kinz + Tillou Fine Art in New York.
“Dettmer carefully selects and sifts through stacks of old books to uncover the perfect source and subject for his cultural archaeological explorations and sculptural possibilities. He first determines the presentation, engineering and construction of his altered book or books. Then, with the precision of a surgeon, using scalpels and hundreds of x-acto blades, he alters the pre-existing information and images by selectively removing and manipulating elements to propose new ideas and map new visual journeys.”
Of his work, Dettmer says “The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect communicative objects or systems such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role transforms. Its content is recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.”
New work from Bristol, UK cut book artist Alexander Korzer-Robinson. With a background in psychology, Korzer-Robinson focuses on the notion of the “inner landscape”. Using discarded materials, his objects are “an invitation to the viewer to engage her/his own inner life in order to assign meaning to the artwork.”
Korzer-Robinson’s process involves working through each book, page by page, cutting around some of the illustrations while removing others. The images seen in the finished work, are left standing in the place where they would appear in the complete book. As a final step the book is sealed around the cut, and can no longer be opened.
To see more, and for exhibition information visit AlexanderKorzerRobinson.co.uk.