The Croatian/Austrian art and design collective Numen/For Use are renowned for their conceptual art, scenography, industrial and spatial design. However, it is their installation “Tape” which I would like to focus on for my second precedent study as this has been exhibited in over ten different international locations and re-defined each time to fit each unique locality – both external and internally. It is the public installations of this particular installation I intend to analyse which was put together in Melbourne, Australia, Örebro, Sweden and Florence and Berlin.
The temporary installations of organic and web-like structures are strong enough to hold up a number of adults to crawl through the shimmering chambers. Made out of adhesive tape, these installations prove each time that the most obscure – yet simple – of materials can prove to be the most rewarding.
The project in Melbourne was the first project to be executed successfully outside Europe. In Sweden, the structures are suspended over a lake which connected the viewers seating with another building. The structure in Florence is in the infamous Palazzo Strozzi courtyard where traditional Italian architecture meets modern art. Finally, the Berlin project was situated in their old airport with he tape being wrapped through industrial steelwork.
The locations I have selected of this installation are in public spaces which I think encourage more people to stop and appreciate the incredible structures. As a result of this, existing public spaces are being challenged in that it changes how the participants interact with the space. Numen/For Use are redefining the public spaces we inhabit on a daily basis with, what can only be called, a household material which they have turned into an architectural form, which in many cases, secure itself on the existing architecture.
The concept behind the installation in Florence stems from the movement of dancers which has been depicted moving between pillars. When entering the structure, many visitors have said that it is the thrill and anxiety of the piece that makes it feel like you are being trapped in a bodily experience.
The concept delves into, “the murky territory of both physical and psychological interiority, thematising immersion, introspection and probing of the depths of self.” (Numen/For Use. No Date) The idea of the building or public space becoming a violent mind or body organism which is yet to be explored and confronted by the viewer internally.
Christoph Katzler, Numen/For Use co-founder, said that “the installation was envisaged as a site specific, parasitical structure invading an arbitrary location.”
I have chosen to analyse this installation because I am inspired by how the depth of the overall concept has been adapted to various public space locations. To me, the intriguing architectural structures create a unique experience which, from what I can imagine, can only be similar to a suspended trap. It is interesting how within the tunnels there are spaces to stand up fully, or sit down and are almost like touch points that emerse the observer in the overall experience. In consequence of the investigations undergone, the parameters of public spaces has altered the ways in which social spaces are regarded and will be engaged with in the future.
Vinnitskaya, Irina. “Public Art Installations from Numen / For Use Design Collective” 27 Mar 2012. http://www.archdaily.com/218341/public-art-installations-from-numen-for-use-design-collective/ Accessed 23 Jan 2015.