Book sculptor Guy Laramée pays homage to the printed version of the Encyclopedia Britannica by carving into a 24-volume set of the informative series of books for his latest piece titled Adieu. With the physical publication of the encyclopedias coming to a halt after 244 years of printing the educational text, Laramée decided to bid the obsolete medium farewell in his signature way.
The Quebec-based artist's ambitious book sculpture depicts an earthy, textured landscape that takes inspiration from the mountainous regions of Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. Altogether, the volumes are lined up, like on a bookshelf, and present the weathered, coarse expanse of a deserted, infertile land. Like so many rocky landscapes, the books are seemingly the victims of erosion.
In his artist statement, Laramée explains, "My work, in 3D as well as in painting, originates from the very idea that ultimate knowledge could very well be an erosion instead of an accumulation… 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."