Tape: An Excursion Through The World of Adhesive Tapes

Creator: Kerstin Finger

Publisher: Die Gestalten Verlag 

Date Published: 2005

Pages: 160

Size: 9’6 by 6’9

Made with artists, designers, journalists and me”

The unique and bizarre concept of ‘Tape’ immediately appealed to me. Never before had I thought as adhesive tape as a medium of art, let alone something that an entire book could be dedicated to.

‘Tape’ is separated into the following chapters:

  • Artist and Designer
  • Do-It-Yourself
  • Tape Illustration
  • Text Chapter
  • Index etc

The layout is decent and the pages have a lovely thick feel. For some reason I am particularly attracted to the first pages in the book which are a lovely flat green colour. There are some artworks which really triumph in creativity and skill (the above pictures feature two of my favorites). There is also a humorous section on ‘175 Uses of Duct Tape’ that includes suggestions like ‘waterproof footwear’ and ‘can be used to clean floor when no vacuum is available’. I was amused by the portraits of new innovative tape products on the market – for instance ‘Guest Tape’ that is wrapped around a pole and guests can sign at parties. My favorite tape is ‘Plant Tape’, which once applied to a surface appears like a creeping vine (leaves included).

If ‘Tape’ had kept in the realm of skill based pictures or tongue’n’cheek artworks the book could have been quite good. Instead it mainly indulges in the ‘underground tape movement’, which comes across as trying desperately to claw deep meaning out of random image of tape stuck to sinks. It leaves the book with a pretentious ‘only cool people get it’ feel. Some of the essays included also tend to take the subject matter far too seriously. I would not recommend purchasing this book unless you are particularly interested in tape artwork or other abstract/underground styles.

Favorites include: Marti Guixe, Pieke Bergmans, Valery Koshlyakov, Fulguro, Jim Lambie, Chris Kabel and Joe Hudson.

♥♥½ – 2½/5

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