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Of Tape and Temporality


“There’s something obsessive impulsive about it,” Rebecca Ward once remarked of her own work, and it’s easy to understand what she’s talking about when you see her installations in person. Walking into a Ward-designed space is like crawling into a stringent geometric spider’s web, where flat lines in various colors stream taughtly, floor to ceiling, wall to wall… Edward Krasinski on 21st century steroids.

The work, in fact, is so strict in form and shape, you don’t immediately recognize it’s made of tape at all. Though it looks sturdy and permanent from the outset, it’s actually constructed out of electrical tape (Ward once used duct tape for her projects, though it eventually proved to be just a little too unforgiving). In using tape, Ward creates temporal works that aren’t meant to be here forever; they briefly take over a room, and then, nearly as soon as they’ve arrived, they’re taken down, likely rolled into a ball and thrown away.

This process-oriented art is unconcerned with permanence and ego. It is the very opposite of what has been hammered out by the old masters in marble and stone. Instead, it reshapes a particular space for a finite amount of time, transforming the viewer’s experience and mattering only then, in that moment--something that speaks not just of the art itself, but of the nature of essentially all life on earth.

Sorry, we just get too deep for a Tuesday?

Photos courtesy of Polychroniadus and Sophie de Gama Campos, Ronchini Gallery.