The Cutting Edge of Analogue
We are crazed demons, cursed with choice. Our quest for creative self-fulfillment forces us to invest heavily, as surely all the answers are to be found somewhere within your Mac Book Pro.
But artists (and adorable couple), Nadine Meier and Helge Barske have ambushed the computers in favour of a different kind of cutting edge approach; Cityscapes, landscapes, supernova, geometric patterns and lucid forms adorn their exhibition titled ‘I broke your mirror and that’s my blood’.
The exhibition is formed of bewilderingly detailed, and personal art-pieces, on show for one week only at Berlin’s Raum Für Drastische Maßnahmen which translates as Space for Drastic Measures. And most intriguingly, they are made using nothing more or less then that most simple of all household objects, tape.
Given that tape and art don’t normally share the same stage, one might be forgiven for dismissing the exercise, however these works are certain to confound your expectations, and are far from crude. They are sophisticated, detailed and intriguing, the result of countless hours of concentration, requiring grueling discipline and accuracy to see through to completion. But most of all, they are beautiful.
I met Helge and Nadine at the opening of the exhibition and asked them what was so compelling about this humble medium.
“The Speed at which I create art with tape is contrary to the speed in my other work on computers, because computer power and application options have grown to such an insane point. You can do everything at your finger-tips, so slowing down and limiting your options is a way to focus your concentration.” Says Barske. “Nadine and I started to do artwork based on combining different kinds of tape on canvass. You use an everday article like tape and create something that comes out of yourself, limiting the way you work because after all you can only make straight lines. It is this very limiting feature that makes the medium successful in allowing me to express myself.”
Meier adds, “I had no experience with tape before. It was a new medium for me and I hadn’t seen other people use it either. So this gave me the freedom to make up my own rules, there was no measure and no goal. This allowed me to really let go and lost myself.”
Meier continues, “One thing we both linked was that you roll it from the roll and cut it with your teeth. And, if it’s good tape you can take it off the paper and arrange it the way you want. If you’re working with oil paints or water colour, once it’s on the picture it doesn’t come off again. One thing I admire about Helge’s work,” Meier gestures to Helge, “is that you would need a computer to recreate it. Helge has attempted to reach that level of perfection, computer perfection, using crude old sticky tape.
Photo : Ana Baumgart
You can see it in the cityscapes, these tiny details which look drawn or printed from a distance, but up close you see that it is just tape.
Making art this way has influenced many areas in my life. Whenever I have too many options I don’t know which to choose, I get confused and in the end I do nothing. Most people aren’t good with too much freedom. But with tape you just start, and once you’ve started, you’re in.”
I broke your mirror and that’s my blood is on until 22nd April at Raum Für Drastische Maßnahmen