"I put a Hello Kitty cover on the Instruments of Torture book," he says with a wicked smile... of course he did, I think as I browse #MehrylLevisse 's enormous installation at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. He covered over 5000 volumes in wallpaper, the selection of each acting as a nod to the subject of the volume enveloped.
QL: Each of the sculptural pieces aims to ask fundamental questions of human sensibility, time and history. You also use objects plucked from nature such as sand and petrified stones, can you tell us about “Frozen River”? JB: These two works are both elemental in nature. Each takes two unexpected materials and puts them in a new relation to each other. “Frozen River” is made from two petrified river stones., steel wire, and a 1931 printing of “Decline of the West” by Oswald Spangler. This rare book was chosen as this was the last printing of the book in Germany before Nazi control of the press. The book is a beautiful and poetic, though misguided, examination of human history. It comes to the conclusion that western culture is at it’s end and a new era of democratically elected fascists will take over and divide the world. In many ways it predicted the the rise of figures like Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. For this reason, it feels very fresh when read in 2017. The book is a time capsule and a reminder of human nature. The fossilized stone is another form of a time capsule. A flowing river frozen in time, sealed off from light for millions of years. The beautifully patterned stones are now used to hold the Spangler’s books to the wall. Dug out of the past and held in tension on a wall, these objects are injected with new energy and meaning. “Frozen River” is an invitation to the past.
Thank you @quietlunch for your insightful interview with #JoeBrittain @joebrittain
Walking into Joe Brittain's solo this morning is like walking into a different dimension where life is full of poetry and wonder... Join us this week for a respite from Gotham #joebrittain @joebrittain
Another time capsule, this work captures a 16 minute period ( one photo taken every minute from the same vantage point until dark, with the lens set to an infinite depth). Joe Brittain waited until the sunset was at its richest in color and then began shooting until all the light had faded, and the colors absorbed into darkness. The pattern will repeat itself of course, but here we have a documentation of an end. The end of color, of the waking day, of a fragment of time. This piece acts as an ode or a memoriam and also touches upon an etymological thread between the words - spectrum, spectator, and specter.
Untitled (16 Minutes of Declining Light), 2017
40 x 30 inches