The act of book carving or book sculpture is nothing new. If you’ve browsed around the internet, the chances are you’ve seen people cutting away at books, folding pages, burning the tips, and creating incredible works of art. And then there is Guy Laramee who changes the entire game. “The erosion of cultures – and of “culture” as a whole – is the theme that runs through the last 25 years of my artistic practice. Cultures arise, become obsolete, and are replaced by new ones. With the vanishing of cultures, some people are displaced and destroyed. We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die.”
Guy Laramee turns old books and turns them into hyper-realistic detailed landscapes, often showing the origins of man.
“The library, as a place, is finished. One might say: so what? Do we really believe that “new technologies” will change anything concerning our existential dilemma, our human condition? And even if we could change the content of all the books on earth, would this change anything in relation to the domination of analytical knowledge over intuitive knowledge? What is it in ourselves that insists on grabbing, on casting the flow of experience into concepts ?”
“So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romantic landscapes. 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.”
When photographed right, the light that hides in the crevasses of the paper rock will easily leave you fooled. Get up close in these books and let their realism surround you. You are in another world. See more of Guy’s work here.