Nick Herman


Book, 13.3 x 20.5 cm, 89 p, language: English, publisher: LA><ART / ANTE PROJECTS, ISBN: N/A.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2024/775).

Literary synopsis Nick Herman has a long-standing interest in the way language reflects extreme religious values and a culture’s sublimated fantasies. In his illustrated novella *FATLAND*, Herman exploits his dyspeptic protagonist’s litany of complaints, including impotence, immobility, and memory loss. The work investigates the concepts of evolution and happiness, drawing parallels between subjects as diverse as the Dionysian mysteries, liposuction, and contemporary art. Herman’s explorations into taboo, instability, and the grotesque operate within a sardonic critique of human progress and what he satirically refers to as the manic quest for a “lost paradise.” By exploiting the heavy handed metaphors of religion, sexual desire, and impotence, the artist skillfully plays with literary clichés and caricatures including "erotic writing,” the “Faust legend," and the trope of being buried alive as a metaphor for madness, depression, and death. Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice Nick Herman’s practice spans sculpture, photography, book making and writing. Often he combines these mediums to tell fractured stories about people and nature in the 21st century. He considers himself to be as much an amateur scholar as artist. His work attempts to unearth small anecdotes about American history, religion, and the myth of enlightenment that he sees still present in contemporary culture. He uses chrome for its promise of technology, erased and reprinted photographs to describe absence, and tied nets to suggest the way rhythm and pattern function as animating elements of the urban landscape (and suggest animism). In all of these works material choices are essential and tell a deeper story then just the image or object alone. Nick Herman is particularly focused on the tension caused by craving and the desperate yearning for something that does not exist. This theme is manifest in religion, the lottery and love; Freud called it wish fulfillment. It is in light of this critique that he hopes to make beautiful simple things that mimic in some way everyday things that are all around us. This is why his work spans from taking close-up photos of houseplants to writing, because in the describing of things in language he is able to do the one thing that is most human: make connections. This is why he is devoted to designing books, as it is an intimate venue to connect obliquely images and language. [Novel website](http://www.anteprojects.com/_publishing/_09/ante_09.html)

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