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Zilvinas Kempinas

Date : 2002

Medium : Installation

Size : variable

Date: 2002
Medium: video tape, painted wood panels, nails
Size : variable

Zilvinas Kempinas’ installations using unspooled video tape exploit the lightweight physical properties of the tape and the different ways in which it occupies space: an almost transparent thin edge when side on, and dramatically monumental when faced front on, creating a dense column.
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The guide

What a strange sculpture… What do we have before our eyes? Is it a real object, a projection or a hologram? What is this material that seems to dissolve and float in space like something from science fiction?
 
The work escapes our gaze, don’t you think? Look more closely at the material used by Zilvinas Kempinas: it is videotape. You heard that right! The black ribbons of tape found in audio and videocassettes. This tape is more than just a material for this artist of Lithuanian origin, it has become his signature.

At once sculpture and environment, these installations are in a dialogue with architecture.
They also question our bodies and our relationship with space. From the front, the work is a black and massive monolith. Take one step to the side and it disappears, light and evanescent.
With Kempinas, we move from the monumental to the fragile in an instant, or rather, with a simple breath. His sculpture comes to life with the slightest breeze.

Kempinas poetically emphasises the unexpected beauty of this material, but for all that he does not neglect to revisit the history of art in a subtle game of references:

First, there is Op Art, and the way it disrupted viewers’ perceptions by producing impressions of vibration and changing light,
 
Then there is the readymade, Marcel Duchamp’s idea of making works of art from everyday objects.

A nostalgic aura cloaks Kempinas’ reuse of this manufactured and obsolete material, an old-fashioned feeling we can savour.