Tape drawing installation
Materials: Tape, string, vinyl, rubber cement
10 x 17 x 25 feet

Five Myles
Brooklyn, NY

“Loss, Memory” is the first three-dimensional tape drawing I have made. The initial direction the work took was in response to the grey walls of Five Myles and its location emanating out of a far corner of the large, rather dark rectangular space. I sought to emphasize the depth of the space by making the corner look far away and the string and tape lines create an illusion of depth on the walls. I took the black strings from gallerist and performance artist Hanne Tierney’s puppet theater in the studio behind the exhibition space. The long strings hung in pools, echoing the undulating lines drawn in tape on the floor and radiating from the corner. Strips of vinyl “barrier tape” wove amongst the overhead wooden grid supports for puppets and suspended from the ceiling. Light played on the aluminum foil and reflective tapes. All the colors behaved differently against a field of grey on walls, floor and ceiling. The lighting was spotty and uneven, suggesting an underwater location.

As I was finishing “Loss, Memory” I thought I had succeeded in creating a visual field that suggested distance and faraway images receding from one’s grasp. The string seemed to be reminders or placeholders for things or people not to be forgetten. The grey color and the uneven lighting suggested the mental state of dream or memory. The relatively sparse tape markings and attenuated lines felt tender and somehow precious to me. The work revealed itself to be laiden with a sense of loss following the sudden death of my mother. I decided then to call it “Loss, Memory”.

Rebecca Smith