BRIAN DETTMER sifts through stacks of old books to uncover the perfect source and subject for his sculptural examinations. Dettmer treats his book sculptures like archaeological sites by excavating forms and uncovering hidden meanings. He alters pre-existing materials by selectively removing and manipulating elements as a way to allow new interpretations and ideas to emerge.
With the precision of a surgeon, Dettmer uses scalpels and tweezers to dissect and rejuvenate sets of encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, wallpaper sample books and other forms of rapidly antiquating materials. He does not add content or images, but, rather, pushes the boundaries of the their physical forms to better expose their attributes. The fractured text and layered images that comprise his restructured works evoke the randomness and fragmented nature of history, information and memory.
Dettmer lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He has exhibited widely throughout North America and Europe. His work has been featured in several books, as well The New York Times Magazine and has garnered the active attention of critics and bloggers. Dettmer's work will be included in an upcoming exhibition at Arti & Amicitiae to celebrate the selection of Amsterdam as World Book Capital City by Unesco.