art of facts: Brian Dettmer
Exhibit Dates: Feb. 7-Apr. 28, 2017 | Schingoethe Center | 1315 Prairie St.
Opening Reception: Feb. 7, 2017 | 5-6:30 p.m.
Special Smithsonian Affiliate announcement (6:45 p.m.) and artist talk (7 p.m.) to follow | Tapper Recital Hall in the Schingoethe Center
Dettmer continues his work with books as sculptural material and cultural object. In this show, he has redefined and reconsidered books in a new context to explore connections we have to objects and information of the past, and to consider solutions and consequences for the way we will obtain information in the future.
The specific focus of this show will be to illustrate the position of the book as an artifact from our recent past; objects from a different time and a different culture that have been gathered and reinterpreted for display. Much like an artifact in a natural history museum, many books have become objects that were not originally intended to be in a museum or considered art. It is only after they lost their functional, ceremonial or spiritual value that they have been appropriated through an outer perspective to be seen as art, or as an artifact. Specific new works to be included in the show will take familiar forms from early and emerging civilizations — Native American and other indigenous cultures. The book will be explored as a vessel, both something to contain and distribute knowledge and nourishment and as a craft that can carry and transport new ideas and bodies or information to a different place. Vases, canoes, troughs and other variations of this idea will take form. In addition, works which explore the totem form will be included. The subjects of culture, nature, archeology and artifacts will be considered both through the content of the books chosen and through the forms they take. Other new works will take the form of fragments or ruins found from an ancient culture.