Stephen Gerard Dietemann


+ Art

Fire Drawings

I view these constructions as collaborative ‘landscapes in time’.   They are influenced by Asian sumi-E work as well as the contemporary ‘map’ constructions of artists such as Agnes Denes, Nancy Graves and Charles Ross.  Equally, poetry, or the search for a poetic language is critical.  In the words of poet William Carlos Williams, this work attempts to, “…fix the atmosphere of a moment.”  Or, in Auden’s words, “..the Time / Being to redeem / From insignificance.”

Number 92 (b) is typical of all these works.  It is a yearly series (all of these works are part of a series; an hour, a week, a month, a year, etc.).  This particular piece, like all the work in this series, was created by the burning of paper ‘templates (which I supply) by individuals in other locations and at a specific local time.  In this case, based on poet Robert Penn Warren’s poem, ‘I. Explosion: Sequence and Simultaneity‘ , Great Britain / Aug. 5, 11:16 pm; New York / Aug. 5, 1:16 pm; Chicago / Aug. 5, 5:16 pm; San Francisco / Aug. 5, 3:16 pm; Pearl Harbor / Aug. 5, 1:16 pm; Tinian Island / Aug. 6, 9:16 am; Hiroshima / Aug. 6, 8:16 am.   Once burned in each of these locations they were mailed back to me for assembly.  Like all the Fire Drawings, they were burned at a pre-determined time interval.

These works have been displayed in Los Angeles, New York, and the Berkshires since the inception of this series of work in 1990.  They are included in collections in the United States and Europe.


Creating at the intersection of Art and Architecture