Zilvinas Kempinas was born in Lithuania in 1969 and has been living and working in New York City ever since. He completed his MFA at Hunter college in 2002 and since then has begun to develop an international reputation. Kempinas creates site specific installations using materials such as unspooled video tape in order to transform physical spaces into environments of illusion. His installations seamlessly integrate precise geometry, space and light . They work together to provide the viewer with a new way of experiencing a familiar space.
At the Venice Bienniale 2009, Kempinas presented a major installation entitled ‘Tube’. This installation consisted of his signature medium, magnetic video tape, which he strung parallel to the ground. This created a huge translucent tunnel that the viewer could walk through. This work addressed concepts of the viewers optical and physical experience as well as the perception of architecture and the body.
“I am attracted to things that are capable of transcending their own banality and materiality to become something else, something more. I like the way that videotape is simultaneously delicate and durable, since it’s meant to last. I can rip it easily with my hands because it’s so thin, but I can also stretch it. Videotape is made to present the world in color, but it appears purely black. It’s supposed to be this safe container of the past, but it is destined to vanish like a dinosaur, to become obsolete, pushed away by new technologies. It’s a familiar mass-produced commodity, but it can be surprisingly sensual and can look almost alive if set in motion. It can be seen as a solid, thick, black line, but it can also disappear right in front of your eyes if it’s turned on its side”
(Žilvinas Kempinas in conversation with Veronica Roberts, Museo Magazine)