I am Kind.
I seek to find.
That, which is undone.
Where grey meets sky,
Where mind hold's matter;
I hope to God, I know the later.
Hide and Seek
Seek and Find.
Find and know, abysmal snow.
White out! Look out! Here it comes.
The weight of time,
The straddled line.
Writings attributed to Brittan Dean Aebischer's latest series, "Enpsychlopedia".
Upon being asked if he wanted to take home a 1970’s Britannica encyclopedia set that would have inevitably been thrown away, Brittan soon found himself immersed and inspired, skimming through the volumes of collected “information” and “facts”, dolefully antiquated. What Brittan found most interesting, was the way in which information was organized and structured; each subject and topic being condensed for commonality and readability. This consolidation and condensing process of historical or complex subjects and facts, clearly revealed the singularity and relativity of the written information. How could WWII, DNA, human anatomy, or the ethnic groups and cultures of South America be extrapolated and consolidated into one or two columns of text? The notion of picking your story, choosing a side, eliminating various facts for whatever reason is nothing new; mankind has been doing this for its whole sensual existence. However, what Brittan found most interesting, was the way in which some subjects or facts were given a singular image as a pictorial representation for a complex idea. This singular image often depicted an object, a man, or a map; possibly, an occasional woman or graphic organizer of some sort.
This micro/macro dissonance between the volumes of knowledge and highly curated facts is what Brittan found to be the singular thread of exploration in his new work.
The resulting body of work on display is much like an encyclopedia set containing 21 volumes/pieces, and depicting a myriad of singular images/facts, juxtaposed against each other within surreal landscapes. Using found imagery from both the old encyclopedia set and Brittan’s own personal collection, the focus for this body of work quickly became about the individual, collective personhood, and the ontological discussion of human meaning and values. How does a fact exist? How is meaning from those facts derived? How does one remember? What is the trigger for recalling those thoughts? Instead of asking those questions directly, the work both singularly and collectively are asking and attempting to answer those very same questions.
The outcome of this work is highly processual and cathartic, yet depicting clarity of structure through the repetition of layers, lines, and coalescing pieces of imagery; the black inky outlines revealing a Rorschach-ish psychoanalytical tête-à-tête interlaced with nuances of Freud’s human psycho-sexual theories. In addition, the intentionality of obscurity and/or disillusionment within each piece, alludes to Brittan’s obsession with semantics and the personal values and meanings any one viewer may project onto the work creating layers, upon layers of collective meaning and value.
SPRING 2018 - ARTIST STATEMENT
The image, the icon, the fleeting moments of memories, the abstraction of shape and line, all coalesce in the work by Brittan Aebischer. Focusing on the relativity of both the personal and shared memories, Brittan’s work utilizes both assemblage techniques and mixed media on canvas to convey surreal and abstract picture-scapes; often depicting the nude form juxtaposed against, ontological ruminations and distorted landscapes.
Relying on the found object for direct inspirational links, each work created takes a life of its own in an often meandering and endless journey of color, texture, line, and abstraction. The object guides the artist through a journey, providing inspiration for the overall compositional structure. Brittan is a wanderer, often revealing literal and figurative objects found off the street, in book stores, in rubbish, or in his studio. It is this day-to-day process of collecting, thinking, and synthesizing that brings light to Brittan’s technique of layering; each piece being constructed with at least 3 or more physical layers of canvas, paint, found objects, and ink. Though Brittan pre-determines the execution of each piece, the result is always unclear. Brittan states, “The found object once placed within the composition, directly effects all the other elements within the piece. Inevitably, as each piece is added, it compounds the message and changes the direction of the work. Thus, I never know how the work will look in the end; that is a personal joy I have with my own practice.”
Messy and yet controlled, Brittan’s picture making evokes a quiet uneasiness, often confronting the viewer with compounding questions that are unanswerable. It is Brittan’s belief that art should evoke the true nature of humanity through the revelation and confrontation that all humans are imperfect, inevitably pointing us to the fact that it is our imperfections that is what gives us beauty, nothing else.
I am gearing up for new work and after randomly looking at my book shelf and remembered I had a few sketchbooks from the past. I realized that I have come a long way from these sketches, whether in a good or bad direction, I am not sure. Needless to say, I want to publish the old so that I have a bench mark for the new. These sketches were made between 2009 and 2011 in black Molskin sketchbooks with colored ink pens.