In Flanders, between 2014 and 2020, David De Beyter gained acceptance and trust in the “Big Bangers” community of stock car enthusiasts who demolish or burn vehicles that would otherwise be consigned to the scrap heap for the beauty of the gesture and the sheer nihilistic pleasure of the spectacle. Each wreck resulting from this destructive practice is called an “auto sculpture” in the community’s lingo.
De Beyter’s immersive project thus involved a combined artistic and anthropological approach, as is evident in Build and Destroy. In its very format, the book resonates with the experience of destruction as observed by the artist and o! ers an aptly fragmentary reading of this brutal culture. Bringing together photographs, photograms from 16 mm " lms and extracts from family archives, Build and Destroy o! ers itself as a visual essay that examines the material as subject as much as it investigates the formal possibilities opened up by the materiality of images.
Published by RVB Books, 176 pgs, 32 × 23 cm, Softcover, 2022, 9791090306967