Verbal Vivisection

Brian Dettmer, Amerigo, 2007
Brian Dettmer, Amerigo, 2007

On the front of the Week in Review section of this week’s NY Times, illustrating an article on National Book Award nominations, was a photo of a book with part of the cover removed revealing a latticework of words and images carved into the interior. The work, Modern Progress by the artist Brian Dettmer,  gives the impression of  a body with the skin peeled away laying bare the veins, bones, tendons and organs hidden within. It also reminded me of some of the pieces from a Maya Lin show where she carved topographies into old atlases. A quick search led to more book works as well as modified maps and sculptures made from old audio and video tapes. There’s a great selection of images on Toomey Tourell’s site where I also learned that I missed his September show. Rats.

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