brian dettmer: textonomy
brian dettmer: textonomy brian dettmer: textonomy
jan 17, 2012

brian dettmer: textonomy

‘there’s nothing to fear’, 2011 paperback books, acrylic medium 7in x 3in x 73inall images courtesy of toomey and tourell gallery and brian dettmer

brian dettmer: textonomy toomey tourell gallery, san francisco, california february 2nd until march 17th, 2012

atlanta-based artist brian dettmer has created his ‘textonomy’ installation for toomey and tourell gallery. the sculptor creatively destroys solely vintage non-fiction books– outdated dictionaries, encyclopedias and history text that would otherwise remain unread and recycled. each work is comprised of an antiquated text, having been sealed at the page edges in order to exist as a singular form.  the artist then carves away from the lacquered form through the use of scalpels, tweezers and x-acto knifes. dettmer develops a physically devised interpretation of the words and images available in each book. the alternate function provides a recontextualization of the once-static objects.

dettmer carves into the ends of the pages, excavating hidden words and phrases, framed by the larger cuts made to spell ‘there’s nothing to fear’

‘universal standard’, 2012 hardcover books, acrylic medium, 42-1/4in x 13in x 13in (28in x 16in x 16in pedestal, 70-1/2in x 16in x 16in w/ pedestal)

the texts which form the column of ‘universal standard’ and sealed in such a way that each chiseled image is framed by the hard cover of the books.

‘aching days of england’, 2011 hardcover book, acrylic medium 15-3/8in x 20-1/2in x 1-1/4in

detailed view of ‘aching days of england’

dettmer’s works are a reinterpretation of historical images and words

‘american peoples’, 2011 vintage set of encyclopedias, acrylic medium 61in x 39in x 14in

‘prose and poetry adventures’, 2011 hardcover book, acrylic medium, ink jet print, frame book 8-1/2in x 7-1/2in x 1-3/4in frame 15-1/8in x 12-1/8in x 3/4in

wide view of ‘lands and peoples’, 2011 hardcover books, acrylic medium 29-1/2in x 29-1/2in x 2in

detailed view

each of the books which comprise the entire piece are never enhanced with additional material, but rather, chipped away to reveal the inner contents.

‘macmillan’, 2011  hardcover book, acrylic medium 11-1/8in x 9-1/2in x 2-1/8in

a detailed view of macmillan

‘brian dettmer – remixed media’ by alfredo aponte

  • Extraordinary….

    joseph says:
  • Remarkable!

    Manuel says:
  • Yawn.

    How many people will keep doing this?

    Seen it once, that was clever. Once.

    Matt W says:

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