Paul de Guzman
Excavating Grid

Excavating Grid is a concept-based activity book that requests the reader’s participation. The nature of this participation is outlined in the first pages of the book and is entirely up to the reader’s discretion. The book is a collection of scanned images collected from the pages of existing art and architecture books gathered mostly from the library. Keeping the publication dates of these borrowed books in mind, the first page contains a scan of the most recently published book, and as the reader continues to flip through, the publication dates go back in time. The white rectangular spaces that populate the pages of the book act to interrupt the reading of the scanned texts and images, a strategy that accentuates the structural qualities of both language and architecture. These pages form a layered and quotidian archaeology of architecture-based ephemera. The requested participation mentioned earlier, which is similar in concept to an activity or coloring book, is a pseudo-archaeological mechanism designed to explore the book as a site for historical, urban and archaeological excavation. The reader becomes a participant in the mental and perhaps physical excavation of the book. Similar in concept with Italo Calvino’s collection of tales in “Invisible Cities” where imagined cities are described in metaphorical prose, Excavating Grid acts as both literary construction and constructed literature, and comments on the relational, participatory and historical aspects of the book format.

Self published
8.5 x 5.5 inches, 46 pp, full-colour laserjet, unbound folded half pages encased in damask wallpaper, 2011
Edition of 40
30 euros or 40 canadian dollars

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Paul de Guzman’s artistic practice is characterized by his conceptual and linguistic approach toward the institutional nature of architecture through the creation of transient and temporary structures using linguistic and architectural strategies. Working in various fields such as text, sculpture, installation, photography, sound and video, performance and social practice, an increasingly important outcome of de Guzman’s investigation is his recognition of the roles of language and architecture in social dynamics. His most recent work investigates the role of education and pedagogy in seeking to connect architecture with the vernacular experience of space. Born in Manila, The Philippines where he studied Engineering, de Guzman immigrated to Canada in 1986 and currently lives and works in Vancouver. His autodidactic education in art was achieved by reading art criticism and architectural texts. His work has been shown extensively in Canada and internationally. Having completed an artistic residency at Stichting Duende in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2010, de Guzman embarks once again on a three month residency at the Fonderie Darling in Montréal that commences in February 2012.