Dirk Hagner, “Systemic Things (Because things are the way they are they won’t stay the way they are)”

Dirk Hagner
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Systemic Things (Because things are the way they are they won’t stay the way they are)
sculptural book/screen printing
13.25 x 6.5 x 6″

Artist Statement

Because I arrived at making books from being a printmaker I find myself to be a book artist rather than a book binder.

As an artist I have chosen printmaking as my medium. I get excited about ink and paper. The textures, the subtle build-up of sheen in successive ink layers, the gentle dimensionality impressions leave on the sheet, the feel of the printing blocks, the sounds and scents – it’s the whole mix. It is seductive, challenging, often surprising, and always exhilarating.

Printmaking and book arts share the same birth mother. Artists books can beautifully showcase a suite of prints; types enrich the work graphically. Sometimes the work is type driven, which I often think of as mark-making. Books substantially aid me as printmaker, provide context, impart rhythm and a pulse, and provide a tangible dimensionality not commonly found in printmaking alone.

In employing traditional and exploring new methods of image and book making the results connect us to our past and keep it relevant. It allows us to speak with a contemporary voice grounded in the human experience.

This Project

Systemic racism has been with our country before its independence. Not even to mention genocide and slavery. All these were part of the founder’s principles of thought and the foundation of our county’s economy from its start.

Despite of a civil war fought and won against slavery, racism in the United States is rampant and ubiquitous.

However, this is not only an American issue, it is a huge worldwide human problem.

“Because things are the way they are they won’t stay the way they are.”

It seems inevitable that it will change as tribalism and notions of any superiority, racial, religious, or otherwise, will die out – if the human race is to survive. It is not up to our reasoning, or any other human conceit or imagination—but evolution. There is only a slim sliver of hope for humanity to evolve in time. If not, we’re done.