in New York, NY / United States
08.09.2016 - 15.10.2016 10:00 - 18:00
Brian Dettmer - Dodo Data Dada

P•P•O•W is pleased to present “Dodo Data Dada”, Brian Dettmer’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Dettmer has a longstanding interest in the physical book and its ever-changing status in our contemporary world. The exhibition title, “Dodo Data Dada”, references a medium nearing extinction, examines how information is communicated, and connects Dettmer’s practice to the Dadaists’ tradition of commenting on language, media and technology through the use of found materials. By dissecting and deconstructing the printed page, Dettmer looks at the way in which books have lost their authority in our digital age, and proposes a new way of understanding these texts.

With “Dodo Data Dada”, Dettmer turns his attention to reference books, including full sets of mid-century encyclopedias and turn-of-the century political tracts, excavating them to “expose a mass of fragmented and disjointed associations”. Dettmer employs a subtractive process, sealing the book and then removing pages to connect disparate ideas – restructuring meaning on the printed page, while offering “a holistic saturation of new paths for exploration.” As Dettmer says, “When books become sculpture the codex becomes a palimpsest, a material to question the structures and perspectives of the past while pondering the uncertainties of the future.” Presenting books as artifacts one might encounter in a natural history museum, Dettmer offers a novel reframing of these now outdated objects.

Brian Dettmer (b. 1974, Chicago IL) lives and works in New York. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Hermann Geiger Foundation, Cecina, Italy, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA. His works have been exhibited internationally in shows at the Museum of Arts and Design, NY; The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; The San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA; The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; The High Museum, Atlanta, GA; and the Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL among others. Dettmer’s sculptures can be found in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; The Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, IL; The High Museum, GA; and the Yale University Art Gallery, CT. He has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK and The New York Public Library, New York, NY and given a TED talk for the TED Youth Conference in 2014. Dettmer’s work has been featured in several publications and programs including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, Art News, Modern Painters, Wired, The Village Voice, Harper’s, CBS News and NPR.

Gallery hours Tues-Sat 10 am – 6 pm


535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
10011 New York, NY
United States


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