Berlin-based visual artist Gregor Hildebrandt specialises in deconstructing vinyl, cassettes and VHS tapes to explore the hidden potential of our analogue cast-offs.
His latest exhibition, which opened at New York’s Galerie Perrotin last week, centres around a ‘Sonic Wall’ built from hundreds of tacky moulded record bowls, which he bought in bulk from Berlin’s flea markets and stacked into a ceiling-height obstacle – a Spector-esque ‘wall of sound’, you might say.
The artist has also created curtained walls of VHS tape using copies of Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, and turned recordings of industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten into abstract images. As he explains:
“The coated side of cassette tapes is put on double-sided adhesive tape, the coat is pressed onto it with a painterly gesture with a brush or a roller, and then the cassette tapes are taken off again. This process can be repeated several times on different canvases, resulting in ever more delicate structures. Finally, the tapes are glued onto a canvas for good. They form the negative.”
Elsewhere in the show the artist has created herringbone flooring from empty tapes and mounted 27,000 cassette felts (the pads that the magnetic tape runs across) on the wall as a play on the exhibition’s title, which translates as “the story runs across us” or “history walks across us”.