Matthew Brown is pleased to announce Crickets in the City of Spare Parts, Dan Herschlein’s debut monograph. Published on the occasion of their exhibition of the same name, Crickets in the City of Spare Parts explores themes of alienation, fragmentation, and reinvention of the self. In a poem interspersed with black and white images, an archetypal stranger knocks at the door offering to dissolve the narrator's current self-conception. Once invited in, the stranger articulates the slow, laborious, and frightening procedures needed to begin reform one’s understandings and assumptions.
Herschlein’s work has traditionally dealt with identity and alienation, often manifested physically as fragmentation of the body. Herschlein incorporates tropes and framing devices used in horror films to emphasize banal elements of the composition such as baseboards, molding, or the texture of the wall. In a further shift of expectation, faces lose all significance as they are continually reduced to shadows, silhouettes, or sacks tied up with strings. In rendering their subjects, Herschlein instead focuses on the behaviors and gestures of hands, feet, limbs, and torsos.
Amidst the somber images of collapsing machines and fragmented bodies—those cast-aside aspects of our selves and cultures— the message is ultimately one of optimism, as Herschlein envisions new bodily possibilities and ways of feeling at home within the world.