Brian Dettmer: Book Autopsies

In her Livejournal, anthology editor Ellen Datlow links to this Centripetal Notion gallery (which Cory Doctorow also blogged at BoingBoing) of the works of Brian Dettmer, who takes old books and carves them open to reveal artwork and (less commonly) text inside. The result is an amazing three-dimensional sculpture that to my eyes completely deconstructs the idea of books, text, and reading.
Ellen and many of the commenters at Centripetal Notion confess to having very mixed feelings about Dettmer’s work, since obviously he “destroys” the old books, or at least renders them into a new form. “I feel badly about the books he defaces — which include a book of Rembrandt’s Paintings,” says Datlow.
For better or for worse, I am far from in love with books. I want to take a razor to most of the books I read, so I feel it’s better that Dettmer do it with magnificent skill and creativity, rather than the random drunken rage someone like me might aim at Mickey Spillane late on a Saturday night, screaming “You’re a hack!!” as I go after Kiss Me, Deadly with a samurai sword. Things are much better this way.
Link, image also via Centripetal Notion.

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