Digging books

/ 28 March 2008

Brian Dettmer digs into books revealing what lies beneath the covers. These amazing “book autopsies” remind me of the dream I once had that a medical scanner might be used to scan all the pages of a book without opening it up. Brian reveals sculpture and beauty inside the work. Click on the image for more.

Book Autopsy

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the cover of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

By the way, Brian himself credits these three galleries with exhibiting his work, but I could only find images at the last of these.

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