Sophie Taeuber-Arp's Vanishing Lines

© Myriam Thyes
© Still from animation (HD video) ; © Myriam Thyes

Myriam Thyes

Sophie Taeuber-Arp's Vanishing Lines , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
Sound: Silvia Pachler
  • Sophie Taeuber-Arps Fluchtlinien
    1920 × 1080
  • Sophie Taeuber-Arps Fluchtlinien
    1920 × 1080
  • Sophie Taeuber-Arps Fluchtlinien
    1920 × 1080
Sophie Taeuber-Arp's Vanishing Lines
Myriam Thyes, 2015, animation, HD video, 10:10, loop, stereo. Sound: Silvia Pachler.

In what is, prima facie, a mesh of abstract lines, no few of the works that Sophie Taeuber-Arp completed between 1940 and 1942 in her exile in southern France manifest a symbolism of war, persecution and flight. The compositions of lively, curved lines have, in part, something lost, floating, broken, irrational about them. At times they seem to be deliberately 'chaotic', which, in all Taeuber-Arp's earlier works, would have been wholly uncharacteristic. Yet for all the horrifying events hinted at, these drawings are highly aesthetic entities. In Taeuber-Arp's cycle of works entitled 'Lignes...', an aspect of DADA re-emerges – the (meaning-denying) art of refugees from war. The animation, which combines eight of her works from the 'Lignes' series with photographs from WW2, shows the connection and the discrepancy between Taeuber-Arp's artistic activity and the world of war and persecution. To that extent, 'Vanishing Lines' also refers to her inner flight from reality. The video thereby highlights a dilemma facing artists to this day, of making art in a time of injustice and violence. There is good reason to animate Sophie Taeuber-Arp's compositions, as she developed a striking number of variations out of the same basic elements for her series and because dance, movement and rhythm play an important role throughout her œuvre.

Original title, in German: Sophie Taeuber-Arps Fluchtlinien
  • aesthetics
    • animated
    • assembled
    • installation-based
    • sublime
  • genres
    • digital animation
    • installations
  • subjects
    • History and Memory
      • history
  • technology
    • displays
      • electronic displays
        • projection screens
Technology & Material
Installation Requirements / Space
Installation: large-scale projection (perfect loop) as solo exhibit in the blacked-out space. Abruptly alternating light and dark pictures make for an exhibition space now lit relatively brightly, now dark.