War, explained to Alan Sutton

This is a video about Brian Dettmer, an american artist that works with books and the suggestions related to such a powerful object. He carefully carves page after page creating a continue dialogue between the content , the phisical gesture and his aesthetical research.

Another artist that works with the same kind of imaginary, exploring old illustrated books is Alexander Korzer Robinson, whose work I recently saw at the RA summer show.

Amazed by the poetic results that this technique can offer, I wanted to explore the contents of a book that I recently found at my local charity shop.

The book describes various war techniques, strategies and weapons used in different stages of of the history of men; in the text I couldn’t find any reference to the consequences of war or on the social and economical impact of it. The book is just a celebration of war throughout the centuries, designed and offered to kids with a bold  and powerful serif font.

In the last page I found a label with the name of Alan Sutton, a school boy that received this object as a prize for his endeavour. I wonder what he is doing now.

So I started selecting the images, page after page, in order to create a connection between the different chapters and to offer a silent decontextualized narrative: the illustrations now float in the empty space of the volume, creating a lightness that contrasts with the strong gold-printed title.

linda toigo, war explained to A.S., 2012, detail

War, explained to Alan Sutton, 2011

War, explained to Alan Sutton, 2011

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