Dumbo, Brooklyn
Fluoreszierend gelbes, grĂ¼nes, rotes, pinkes Gaffersklebeband
2m x 3m x 1.6m
Karen Tompkins, Birgit Ramsauer


(Text by Ombretta Agro)

The elevator is a specific kind of “room”. For a short moment people are very intimate with each other, people who will probably never see each other again.

You can see and smell every detail, you can hear every sound. It takes quiet a while to get to the 30th floor. So habits in an elevator take a very specific form. Many people are claustrophobic, others try to ignore the people around them. Being alone, cut out from the normal life of the outer metropolis, people start to do strange things, while not being watched.

The artist’s fascination with elevators is not recent and she has already worked in the past with these unusual spaces creating various site-specific installations. In one elevator she enhanced the claustrophobic element by entirely covering the walls with bright pink tape. Ramsauer overlapped the layers of the tape at the back wall and stretched it out towards the front wall again giving the impression of the elevator slanting towards the back.

In a second elevator the artists performed an action and turned the visitors into the actual makers of the work. People were invited to take a piece of tape of their favourite colour, choosing amongst red, pink, green, yellow. They taped it onto the floor, towards their standpoint in the elevator. A landscape of standing points appeared as the performance progressed.

For the Freight Elevator Project 2 in D.U.M..B.O. Ramsauer “opened up” the elevator car towards the ceiling as well towards the floor by making a drawing, which created an optical widening of the view by its design as well as by the use of specific colours. The stainless steel walls reflect the colours, creating a curious “psychedelic” atmosphere.

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