Title: Tracing a Mystery


Artist: Deeter Hastenteufel   Exhibition year: 2019

With this work Hastenteufel fuses two separate but related concepts. The first part, the carving of an erratic rock from the pre-Cambrian era (Canadian Shield), into an Olmec head (pre-Columbian civilization.) The second incorporating (carving) hieroglyphs from the Olmec period and our time.
The grounds of the Tree Museum in Gravenhurst are covered with granite plates that surface in waves abound, carrying boulders on their crests. By the magic of nature, the boulder in question has been transported in position to the right place, and the magic will enhance when the rock morphs into a colossal familiar looking head.
The question arises how did the symbolic work of one indigenous people arrive on the land of an other ? The pre-Colonial image will connect through space, time and territories with the First Nations of the Americas.
My interest in Semiotics led me to the investigation of hieroglyphs of different cultures. Many hieroglyphs were used in an almost purely pictorial way, a graphical language in much the same way that to days way-finder symbols in architecture and urban planning are used. A system of communication that travels across cultures.
The Olmec used symbols on their carved heads and in their art. In fact, the heads themselves are signs of power and selection. I incorporated bronze-cast hieroglyphs (wayfinding) of our time into the helmet of the head. Signs such as; iCloud, WiFi, Bluetooth, Delete, Security, Surveillance, Barrier-free, Loudspeaker, etcetera. These bronze symbols will sparkle like stars connecting the past to the presence, becoming future fossils.

Deeter Hastenteufel, (born in Basel/Switzerland) is a multi-disciplinary multimedia artist and Canadian citizen. Throughout his career he has worked with stone, wood, steel, clay, sand, gravel, water, fire, glass, Neon-light, waste material and many other materials. He is a sculptor, painter, video and performance artist! Placing him in art history terms, he is not easily put into a box, although he is definitely a contemporary inventor of new moulds. He oscillates between constructivism and the surreal. Hastenteufel shows National and International, showing annually with the collective Tranart in Germany and Canada.

Link: http://deeterhastenteufel.com/news.php