Florence and London-based artist Lorenzo Durantini addresses the art of obsoletism and repurposing while displaying a visual representation of time with his sculptural installations. Using VHS tapes, both in their casing and out, the artist transforms the outdated medium into art. In one series of works known simply as 2,216 VHS Tapes, we see a variety of ways that Durantini has redesigned the antiquated technology into entirely different pieces that range from the stunning to overwhelming.
From a neatly stacked pillar and a twisting tower, each boasting thousands of VHS tapes, to two separate rooms filled with the curling glossy black tape, the artist presents an evolution of the once video-centric medium into a building block, a raw material. Rather than using the tapes to store audiovisual information intended for screening, as is the original purpose of the VHS tape, the Italian artist uses the materials to create something that takes up a definite space to counter the digital world we’ve come to live in today.
Each piece in Durantini’s collection of work is also a physical embodiment of time. The artist measures time through length and area. One room is filled with 83,403 meters worth of tape which equates to 1,123 hours. Numbers play a significant role in Durantini’s work–the number of materials used, the number of meters the piece encompasses, the number of hours it represents. His performance piece installation titled 445,368 metres is simply an unraveling of a canopy full of black tape, waiting to unfurl. Interestingly, the artist chose to digitally tape the piece, keeping record of the time it took for the entire piece to unveil (24 minutes 12 seconds). You can watch that video here.