Brian Dettmer. A decade of book sculpture
Brian Dettmer’s work has been exhibited internationally at galleries, museums and private collections. The Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation has organized the first solo exhibition in Italy of this American artist. At the exhibition hall of the Foundation in Cecina (LI), from 12 July to 14 September 2014, the exhibition Brian Dettmer. A Decade of Book Sculpture, curated by the Art Director of the Foundation, Alessandro Schiavetti, will display the best of Dettmer’s production from 2003 to 2013. Visitors will be guided through a path that will show the evolution of the artist’s poetics and his ideological development, which he conveys through actual surgical carvings that weave new connections from inside the book.
We live in the era of digital information, so new media are abundant and given paramount consideration, to the detriment of traditional media. Books are universally respected as cultural objects, but often they are not recognized as repositories of knowledge anymore. Their relevance has been diminished in favour of the authoritativeness of all things that are poured into the ether.
The tangible world whose protagonist is a cold object that ages and turns yellow is countered by a digital world where non-tangible matter can just disappear into thin air. Brian Dettmer gives new life to old media by dissecting and carving at blade point, like a surgeon, the objects and the new connections which, in their transformation process, give rise to both new interpretations and a new message.
Dettmer is unique among contemporary makers because the book – as the repository of human knowledge – is not abused, drilled or crushed, but rather finely carved up and operated on. Dettmer operates with unprecedented delicacy, metamorphosing an obsolete volume into a bas relief of literal and figural inscriptions. The artist cannot possibly anticipate what will appear from the sculpted pages, and his experimentation of the past ten years has led him to accomplish ever more complex works with regard to forms and intersections.
The exhibition will show about 25 pieces from several collections in the United States witnessing a decade of experimentation and innovation, as well as the power of Dettmer’s art. A dedicated room within the exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to see a documentary film presenting a new interview shot in Italy with the artist, who will illustrate the philosophy that underlies his art.
Brian Dettmer. A Decade of Book Sculpture
From 12 July to 14 September 2014
Exhibition Hall of the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation
Piazza Guerrazzi 32, Cecina (LI)
Open daily from 6 to 11 pm - Free admission
For further information: www.fondazionegeiger.org
PODCAST: QUI COMINCIA - RAI Radio3 - 1-8-2014 - Conduzione Attilio Scarpellini [Necessario QuickTime TM]