John Diebel lives and works in Northeast Minneapolis. He has been a member of Rosalux Gallery since 2003.
My work is rooted in my interest in cultural methods of social control as envisioned by utopian planners, with an emphasis on the power of architectural space as a means of expressing social cohesion. In my newest work my focus has shifted to the un-built worlds of manifesto-driven art movements of the early 20th Century, many of which proposed sweeping social changes as dramatic as those of the Soviets- but based upon a foundation of aesthetics and mysticism rather than economics. My curiosity compels me to extrapolate the possible course of events that might have followed the realization of such plans as those of the Russian Suprematists or the Dutch de Stijl movement. The conclusions I reach sometimes come close to the realities of actual historical events and at other times veer off into the historically inexplicable.
Through the medium of cut paper collage I mimic some of the techniques used by architects in their presentation models that depict the ideal forms of proposed edifices in painstakingly constructed detail. I engineer the design of my work to maximize precision in fitting the various pieces together, which results in many layers of paper projecting outwards from the base. I frequently employ an axonometric perspective of the sort frequently used in architectural planning. This view has the added bonus of underscoring the idea of history without a vanishing point; a time and place that is simultaneously the present and the future. In other works I build on top of primarily duotone photographic images, utilizing the extant perspective lines to integrate my own architectural projections into the scene- allowing for the suspension of disbelief that architectural renderers employ to envision a proposed construction in situ.