Info & Images: Courtesy Numen/For use
Tape Paris is an installation - a part of an extensive group exhibition titled "Inside", currently being held at the Parisian Palais de Tokyo until January 2015. It explores both physical and psychological interiority, thematizing immersion, introspection and probing of the depths of self…
The main idea was to transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism, whose slippery inner limits, a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront. The stretched biomorphic skin of Tape Paris marks the entry point to the whole experience, being a literal incarnation of an inner-directed, regressive environment - the sense of descent into the primordial, always lingering around its openings.
It took twelve people ten days to wrap-up the concrete pillars in the great entrance hall of Palais de Tokyo into a maze of accessible translucent passageways, which coil 50 meters through the gallery space and reach the total height of 6 metres.
The idea for the Tape installation was born, when a Spanish choreographer approached Vienna-based Numen/For Use design studio to design a set for his next dance performance. “We wanted to put many vertical tubes on the stage and have the dancer dance with a tape roll through this forest to weave a trance,” explains Christoph Katzler, co-founder, Numen/For Use. It was during the model-making interim that the designers realized that the forms being thus created were quite intriguing and to their surprise, could even carry the weight of an individual.
The exercise was then conceptualized in a large format to develop a room anointed with the installation using non-transparent tape but the designers felt it appeared too plastic! After experimenting with various other materials, they concluded that that normal sticky tape not only retained the naturalness of the medium, but was sturdy enough to carry people. The final installation is thus composed from 50 kg of sticky tape laid out in 30 lines and can carry weight up to 1500 kg!
Predictably, the installation has received a remarkable response from audiences in its earlier showings at Melbourne, Belgium and Tokyo with people experiencing the total ‘look within’ their senses as they crawl through the narrow tubular confines, with the feeling intensifying as they acknowledge that the medium is simple everyday sticky tape!
It is kind of metaphoric with life’s experiences; and the 50 metres or more crawling in narrow tunnels makes one introspect at various levels – self, static, engineering or scientific understanding and at the other extreme, simple playfulness.
Numen/For Use is a design collective working in the fields of scenography, industrial and spatial design and conceptual art. This installation is part of their continued explorations, configuring objects and concepts without a predefined function, an activity resulting in the more hybrid and experimental works, deeply rooted in the tradition of high modernism and mainly applied to various synergetic total-design projects. Parallel to these publicly exposed ventures, the group is the winner of several international awards for their accomplishments in the field of industrial and set design.