Title: Tracing a Mystery

Artist: Deeter Hastenteufel   Exhibition year: 2019

With this work Hastenteufel fuses two separate but related concepts. The carving of an erratic rock from the pre-Cambrian era (Canadian Shield) into an Olmec head (pre-Columbian civilization), and the concept of bridging the history of the land in Canada, to the history of an ancient civilization in Mexico.
On the grounds of the Tree Museum, which is part of the Canadian Shield, we find Erratics. "Erratics" take their name from the Latin word errare (to wander), and are huge Granite boulders that are carried by glacial ice, often over great distances for hundreds of kilometers from their source to their present resting place. Like the Olmec heads, Mayan temples and the Heads from Easter Island, they have an air of mystery! Hastenteufel has spent many years studying ancient civilization, their art, buildings, sculptures, symbols and hieroglyphs. Intrigued by the power and the mystery of their surroundings, their fabrication, production, transportation, placement, meaning and purpose.
Along side the sculptures, buildings, and architectural objects are the hieroglyphics. Hastenteufel's interest in Semiotics has led him to ponder linguistic evolution and the invention of script. Many hieroglyphs were used in a purely pictorial way, a graphic language rather like the present day emojis or way-finder symbols, that we are familiar with in architecture and urban planning, globally. Historically, way finding was a technique used by travelers over land and sea to find relatively unmarked routes. A system of communication that has traveled across time and cultures.
Over the course of the next year Hastenteufel will incorporate "hieroglyphs" or way finding symbols of our time into the facsimile of the Olmec helmet. Familiar symbols such as; WiFi, Bluetooth, Loudspeaker, Delete, Barrier-free, Security, Surveillance, etcetera connecting the past to the presence, becoming future fossils. (make many visits to see the work develop and change)
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 found objects. He is a sculptor, painter, video and performance artist ! Placing him in art history terms might be a challenge, 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 Nationally and Internationally, and has shown frequently with the collective Tranart in Germany and Canada.

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