An unique artist's book based on Paul Sietsema's 16 mm eponymous film, with laser-cut portals and transparent screenlike pages.
Paul Sietsema's work in film and painting addresses the objects and systems of cultural production, tracing the circuits of proliferation and consumption that allow these objects to be taken up into history. At the hour of tea is a collection of stills from his most recent 16 mm film of the same title.
A filmic space develops within pages of this unique artist's book, moving through and layering the film's imagery—tableaux of objects—via a system of laser-cut portals and transparent screenlike pages. Sietsema employs a language of clichéd “collectible” objects—Roman glass, coins, minor antiquities—to invoke the idea of a salon or space of contemplation as a parallel to the contemporary studio, and the idea of a kind of leisure-based consumptive creativity. Drawing on the design idea of skeuomorphism, common in modern computer interfaces, Sietsema fills his tableaux with now-outmoded items that live on as icons of their former functions.
Paul Sietsema (born 1968 in Los Angeles, lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin) has lately been receiving considerable attention for his films and other works. Each specific work by Paul Sietsema can be described as a formalization of the work process — the end phase or perhaps just the suspension of this process—following several years of researching, constructing and layering of the varied, often personally connoted cultural material. Thus, the durational character of films is equaled by the duration of the process of their making—a particular work ethic that informs the work's proper subject, while the motif and medium may vary. Sietsema's drawings and paintings, often realized with the use of idiosyncratic, labor-intensive techniques devised by the artist, usually involve working through existing artifacts, which serve as a starting point for series of material transformations.