Many have prophesied the extinction of the printed media (the same applies to the good old telephone directory). Having said that, information continues to circulate on paper, and we have to admit that photographs and texts (at least for now) still look better on a magazine page than on a Smartphone screen. The visual impact of printed media and the volume of information they contain – literally, not in megabytes, but in cubic centimetres – has been explored by Berlin-based visual artist Gemis Luciani, whose artistic research focuses on the expressive potential of specific acts of formal reduction; namely the use of printed paper in the visual arts.
Luciani’s output consists of two-dimensional tapestries, as well as three-dimensional sculptural forms that are meant to explore the possibilities and potential of printed media as a plastic medium. He achieves a variety of visual effects by treating magazines, books, and telephone directories in unconventional ways: in his ‘‘Models’’ series for example, he creates collages by systematically folding fashion, design, music and architecture magazines in such a way, that only the margins or part of the content are visible. Although meant to be seen as paintings, these sleek ‘‘fold collages’’ still expose their origin, since the artist keeps the magazines’ spines visible and intact. All in all, what we get from Gemis Luciani ’s work is a reassuring aesthetic clarity, supported by a carefully thought out and conceptually sound creative process.