Mark Jenkins has been making hilarous street installation tape sculptures and planting them in various places around the world since 2003.
How did Ms. Re-Usable get into using plastic wrap and tape as an art medium? It all started back in the fall of 2005: I was organizing Duck the Malls arts and crafts sale benefit for the Olympia Film Society and also designing an hands-on art project for the Museum of Glass for when I would be the artist-in-the studio in January 2006. The exhibit at MOG that I wanted to tie into was Karen LaMonte: Absence Adorned, which consists of these ghostly life-sized glass dresses that suggest the body that once wore them. I was frustrated, trying various materials to create doll-sized dresses: paper, aluminum foil, corrugated cardboard, duct tape, etc.
Meanwhile, Marie and Diane P came by my studio, wanting to participate in Duck the Malls, and Marie asked me if I wanted a large roll of plastic wrap from the Olympia Food Coop that was going to be thrown away because it wasn“™t the right size for the cutter but could not be returned. At first, I declined; I use plastic bags, bubble wrap, foam wrap, candy wrappers, but didn“™t think that I needed to include plastic wrap in my oeuvre.
But I thought about it some more, and ran into her at the Mekong, and told her that I would like to give the plastic wrap a try. WOW. The plastic wrap, combined with tape, has a luminous, almost opalescent quality. It worked well on the small-scale dresses that I did at MOG; I also found out that plastic wrap comes in a variety of colors and that Reynolds brand has the best device for actually cutting the wrap. I experimented with different kinds of tape at MOG, including transparent and invisible; the latter had a kind of smoked effect. One of the students discovered that it was cool to wrap the pattern with the plastic wrap and tape and then, after cutting it off the pattern, turn it inside out.
I read about wrapping people with packaging tape on the Getty teacher art exchange list serve, and decided to try that, combining it with the plastic wrap for texture. My studio mate Jenny was my first live model; I wrapped her on the days when I was not working at MOG. While at MOG, I wrapped various things, including styrofoam heads, old shoes, paper coffee cups, and a mannequin that I borrowed from my neighbor Tucker. I’ve since moved on from unwanted plastic wrap to used plastic bags (although I still have a big roll of plastic wrap that Diana O gave me that she was going to toss).