The Other Side of…’  plaster over polystyrene, gesso, acrylic paint, halogen lamps, mirror.  Dimensions:  215 x 160 x 50 cm

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several ideas I was working on merged in this object:

  1. The idea to make a painting that somehow could not be taken in at a glance,
  2. the blending of several images into one,
  3. the use of images from television as a new symbolic vocabulary,
  4. the use of multiple titles.

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‘The Other Side of…’ started out as a gesture: Two hands covering, or protecting, or hiding from view, something precious.

The gesture, however, should not be presented too literally. The object would have the gestalt of the gesture, not the resemblance. I envisioned the ’something’ hidden behind the gesture to be luminous, somehow emitting a bright light from behind the hands.The object has the approximate height of a door or portal.

The main shapes were determined in a scale model. Using this model as a template I made a 2D visualisation in airbrush.

‘The Other side of…’ consists of several parts: Two ‘Gesture’-shapes with paintings, two adjustable halogen lamps, a mirror, a title.

The core of the ‘Gesture’-shapes were cut and modeled in styrofoam, which was then covered, strengthened and smoothed with plaster bandages and several coatings of gesso. On the gesso the painting was applied with an airbrush: Multicoloured on the inside, monochrome on the outside of the blocks.

The blocks are placed upright against a large shaped mirror. The mirror leans against a wall. Between the mirror and the blocks halogen lamps fitted with light dimmers and shades illuminate the paintings on the inside.

The paintings can only be viewed through the gap between the ‘Gesture’-shapes, and can never be seen completely. The viewer must scan the paintings by moving past the gap, completing the scene in memory.

When viewing ‘The Other Side of…’ , the visitor was given a folder with a personalized title for the artwork. This title determines the meaning of the work for the individual viewer. About 150 titles were conceived.

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click on thumbnail image to return to ‘Viewpoint’

or click here to go to ‘Martin Helm Chronology Projects’

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