“Project us into this thick Cloud of Unknowing”
Need an idea of what to do with those clunky books just taking up space now that you’ve got a Kindle? Well you could burn them. Or have “book fights.” Or you could do as artist Guy Laramee has done: turn them into art. The multi-disciplinary artist carves serene dioramas and landscapes out old encyclopedias pressed together. According to his artist’s statement, Laramme is concerned with “the erosion of culture—and of ‘culture’ as a whole,” drawing a parallel of the ephemeral nature of the paper book to the ultimate impermanence of culture:
Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are. After 30 years of practice, the only thing I still wish my art to do is this: To project us into this thick Cloud of Unknowing. [Guy Laramee artist’s statement]
The pieces are intricately detailed and exemplify the almost Zen-like nature of Laramee’s artist’s statement. Kinda shames our attempts to hollow out books so we can hide whiskey flasks.
All images from Guy Laramee’s website.