May 29, 2021
To view The Big Dig: Peter Brötzmann • Instax Boxes, click this link.
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Peter Brötzmann • Instax Boxes, the gallery's eighth installment of The Big Dig.
This online exhibition introduces a new group of tiny assemblages made using Fuji Instax film canisters as casings. Brötzmann (b. 1941) made the works while off-road during quarantine; they continue a longstanding legacy of box-werks in his oeuvre, dating back to the late 1950s, simultaneous with the period in which he embarked on his path as one of the pioneers of improvised music in Europe. Although he's best known for his work as a saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader, Brötzmann's art has been a touchstone for him and he's maintained a studio practice and intermittent presence in museum and gallery exhibitions, including two in Chicago at Corbett vs. Dempsey and one currently on view at JUBG, Köln. Each of these microcosmic images is identically formatted, but the Instax Boxes are remarkably diverse. The Big Dig presents a selection of eighteen of them, together with an interview with the artist and an introductory essay by John Corbett, examples of Brötzmann at his first exhibition in 1960, and a recent portrait of him shot by his musical accomplice Heather Leigh.
Born of nerdy fascination, each edition of The Big Dig descends into the rabbit-hole of a tight curatorial concept, excavating a body of work, a thematic idea or a particular medium, a new development or a historical moment. Exclusive images, interviews and essays provide works the kind of rich sense of context that ethnographers refer to as "thick description."