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Five fun ways to wrap a giant political statue with plastic and masking tape

Let the tape give me more meaning

The Art Institute is wrapping up Thomas Schütte’s large statue, “Vater Staat.” They should do something creative with the masking tape. Let’s make some suggestions to the Art Institute of Chicago on how to better apply the masking tape.

To come up with ideas on how to apply the masking tape, let’s first learn about this artwork. The caption for the statue reads,

The sculpture of Thomas Schütte mines both his own earlier work and the art of previous eras – particularly monumnetal and memorial genres – to address the burden of traumatic history. He is primarily concerned with human condition and the effect that contemporary political structure have on the lives of individuals. In Vater Staat [which translates as “Father State”] an imposing bronze statue towers over the viewer, immediately establishing a power dynamics within the space. The Patriarchal figure, representative of a totalitarian regime or state, is shrouded in a cloak that binds his arms, rendeing him helpless and immobile. Schütte selection of material, in this case, patinated bronze, allowed him to address the historical use of the figure as a staple of public art. Here, is in other works, the artist engaged in the tendency toward monumentality in order to subvert it – this figure is actually an antihero. (emphasis mine)

A couple ideas for the masking tape treatment:

1) Stitches

The masking tape could be a bunch of X’s to make it look like stitches. This would further enhance the bound nature of the sculpture.

2) Bound like string

Encircle the statue with one continuous piece of masking tape. The continued delicate line could speak to the fragility of power dynamics. The fact the statue would be wrapped in the tape would push the bound nature even further.

3) A web of tape

Have the tape come off the statue and connect to neighboring walls. This would speak to how totalitarian regimes extend beyond their borders in limiting neighboring countries.

4) Smiley face

Apply the masking tape over the face to make a smile. A homage to Batman’s Joker, but also reinforcing the subversive nature of the statue.

5) Fashion

Give the masking tape roll to a fashion design student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I bet he/she could come up with something really rad for this statue to wear. Maybe some military style lines along his shoulders. A couple masking tape pockets. Make that Vater Staat really rock!

How would you suggest to the Art Institute of Chicago of a better way to apply the masking tape around Thomas Schütte’s large statue, “Vater Staat”?

Comments are very welcome, please leave a reply

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Tom PolansekMatt Maldre Recent comment authors

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Tom Polansek

Cool idea! Maybe a bullseye to represent the idea that man doesn’t stand a chance. Or use tape to divide the statue in sections, as though he’s broken in pieces.