Continuing to amaze us with his elaborate dictionary and encyclopedia carvings, Guy Laramée‘s (previously here and here) newest works feature deep caverns and valleys that retreat hundreds of pages down into his excavated books. One in particular, “V,” appears like a snowcapped vortex circling down into an endless pit. Viewing this piece, or any of his mountainous works, it’s hard to imagine that their material is stacked and sandblasted paper, the sheets presented more like layers of earth than printed definitions.
Laramée chooses to carve into sources of reference as a conceptual nod to the erosion of cultures, a theme that has pervaded the last 25 years of his practice. “Cultures emerge, become obsolete, and are replaced by new ones,” Laramée’s artist statement explains. “With the vanishing of cultures, some people are displaced and destroyed. We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die. The library, as a place, is finished. One might ask, so what?”
His works attempt to showcase how increasing knowledge might actually be an erosion rather than accumulation by altering these previous beacons of information. They are now integrated into our digital systems, and their husks transformed into mountains and valleys.