Time and tide

Low Tide Wanderings installationThomas Schütte, Low Tide Wanderings, 2001 (installed in Print/Out at MoMA, 2011)

In 2001, with digital practices becoming increasingly widespread in the visual arts, Thomas Schütte decided to use very traditional, analogue image-making as a way of keeping a visual diary. Rather than drawing in sketchbooks, as he usually would, Schütte adopted the more labour-intensive approach of etching. He subsequently produced an edition of 139 prints, one of which is included in the Print/Off at MoMA.

Reading someone else’s diary, a decade after the event, isn’t necessarily that interesting and in part the fascination of this work lies in the installation rather than the images. The prints are suspended on lines criss-crossed through the gallery just above head height (if, like me, you’re quite short).

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Looking efficiency in the eye

Thomas Schütte, The Efficiency Men, 2005

There is something slightly terrifying about Thomas Schütte’s The Efficency Men. The metal frame bodies are strange and the blankets round their shoulders give an air of pathos but ultimately it’s the eyes in their oversize heads that get me. Staring into the eyes of one of the figures isn’t at all comfortable.

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