Can’t find any use for those thick books lying around your house? Carve landscapes out of them! At least, that’s what Guy Laramee has been doing for some time now.
An interdisciplinary artist who has been practicing for 30 years now, Laramee has done several things in his lifetime, from stage writing to contemporary music, painting painting and literature. But the work he became most famous for is book sculpture. Rocky mountain ranges, bodies of water, islands and hidden caves, you name it, he can bring it to life out of a book, in 3D. For instance, from a set of English and Chinese hardcover encyclopedias, he has created two series of stunning landscapes, named The Great Wall and Biblios.
Laramee uses his imagination in his book sculptures. In The Great Wall, he’s depicted his version of a future in which America has built its own Great Wall, like China’s, to protect itself from barbarian invasions. This would isolate America from the rest of the world, causing the fall of the American empire, and allowing China to invade anyway. And so he continues to weave a story with his sculptures. “The erosion of cultures – and of “culture” as a whole – is the theme that runs through the last 25 years of my artistic practice,” says Laramee on his website. “Cultures arise, become obsolete, and are replaced by new ones. With the vanishing of cultures, some people are displaced and destroyed. ”
He says his work originates from the idea that ultimate knowledge is more of an erosion than an accumulation. Of the encyclopedias he uses in his art, he says, “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. ”
Photos © Guy Laramee