During the conception of my project of destroyed books, I frequently turned to the work of Brian Dettmer. Dettmer’s work treats the material book as a sort of body which he dissects to reveal the innards and contents of the book. Yet in his dissection, the shell of the book disappears and the separated pages appear together in a layered plane. Dettmer views form and content as inextricably such that his alteration of material does not liberate either form or content from the state it is normally presented to us in but rather reconfigures content through this transmutation of material (for ideas of transmutation, I am draw to the work of Nasher favorite Dario Robleto).
In discussing his process, Dettmer notes this lack of control he deals with in carving the book. He is subject to the book and even in this transformation, he cannot escape its contents (or form). I too wanted to deal with the incapability of the content of a book’s inscription on a lineage of rational philosophy and illustrated this through these ultimately fruitless wounds to the text and form of a book.
Steve Reinke’s work “Anal Masturbation and Object Loss” seems more akin to the emotional and esthetic quality I was working with. Reinke highlights the false sexiness of psychoanalysis in this video work by gluing together the pages of a volume of psychoanalysis while explaining that this article with the same title of his work is in fact about fraternal death and constipation. What Reinke addresses is this constant fallacy in academic writing in which it presents itself to be something it is not. In my work, I sought to attack what I saw as an egregious and hegemonic trend in the history of philosophy (manifested and disseminated through books) which provides an all-too rational and humanist picture of the world and consequently limits rather than expands our place in the world. I see a similarity with Reinke in a certain focused vitriol which is directed at an object but not the source, illustrating a limit and failure of a school of thought.
Tags : Books, Brian Dettmer, Dario Robleto, Steve Reinke
Categories : IVP1-Drawing Machines