Lithuanian 1969–, worked in United States 2002–

Suspended according to the most basic laws of physics, and yet somehow defying nature’s gravitational pull, Žilvinas Kempinas’ Double O 2008 is a sight to behold… Two loops of videotape – employed as sculptural material and graphic form rather than as a carrier of visual information – hover in mid-air between two industrial fans.

A dynamic form of calligraphy in space, the loops of magnetic tape perform a wild, irrational dance. Dramatic in scale and marvelous in motion, Double O conjures the awesome energy of elemental forces from the most humble of means.

Born in 1969 in Plunge, Lithuania, Žilvinas Kempinas lives and works in New York, and represented Lithuania at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. A past recipient of the Calder Prize, his work has affinities with Alexander Calder’s mobiles and wire frame drawings.

Double O was recently acquired by the NGV, and introduces a decidedly kinetic, optical and phenomenological presence into the collection. Expanding traditions of minimal and abstract sculpture, Kempinas’ simple yet ingenious installation animates the gallery with the visual dynamics of drawing in space and the sonic register of an industrial breeze.

Lithuanian 1969–, worked in United States 2002–
Double O 2008
video tape, fans, ed. 6/6
(a-d) 375.5 x 358.0 x 251.5 (variable) (installation)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund, 2012
© Žilvinas Kempinas/LATGA-A, Vilnius. Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney

Max Delany
Senior Curator, Contemporary Art