Paul Sietsema: At the Hour of Tea (2014)
Softcover with dust jacket, 160 pages, 90 color illus. with laser cuts throughout, 15.2 x 20.3 cm
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.