Escape from Discovery
Tree of Desire 1994
This artwork was created using a copier machine transformed into a horizontal theater, where body parts and elements like fish and flowers were placed on an A3 glass plate. The horizontal frame of the copier allowed for a floating effect, as there was no gravity. The entire piece was assembled like a puzzle, piece by piece. Scan QR for pictures.
Artist Lieve Prins (April 14, 1948 – April 25, 2019) was a Dutch artist, graphic designer, photographer, and performance artist of Belgian origin. Lieve Prins received her education at the Academy for Art and Design St. Joost in Breda (1969) and later at the Film Academy in Amsterdam.
Since 1981, she drew inspiration from color photocopiers in her work. This art form, known as Copy-art or Electrographic, she practiced in the Netherlands as one of the pioneers. Her work was exhibited internationally, including in New York, California, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, Finland, Canada, and France. In the Netherlands, she exhibited at venues such as the Stedelijk Museum (with an installation in 2011), the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, and the Fotofestival Naarden.
The artwork is for sale; Further information please contact Sisa Prins at 06-50266102.
In 2006, a book titled “touch” was published, providing an overview of her work. This book is available for purchase.
“The Horizontal Theater” achieves an almost tangible realism thanks to the exceptional technical quality of today’s generation of Canon laser copiers. These office machines are typically used for a singular purpose: copying two-dimensional images and text. However, the copier’s potential to reproduce three-dimensional, pinpoint-sharp objects has been largely overlooked until now.
The floating effect is closely associated with what Lieve Prins describes as ’the horizontal theater.’ Copiers have a horizontal frame, allowing objects to be laid flat on them. This includes fruits, flowers, plastic animals, beads, herbs, and preserved creatures, as well as the splendid and sometimes intimidating-looking fish from the market, among other items from her whimsical world of prerequisites. These objects remain exactly as they were placed on the machine due to the force of gravity.
However, the act of photocopying from underneath means that Prins’ compositions take on a unique perspective. What immediately strikes you about the work of copy artist Lieve Prins is the pinpoint, almost tangible realness of the copied people and objects. Simultaneously, there’s an alienating effect, as if the figures appear to glide or float, creating a dreamlike, real-life quality.
Then there are the living subjects. When a child or an adult ‘lies flat’ for Prins’ copier and presses a cheek, nose, forehead, hands, stomach, or legs against the glass, inhibitions, posing, and prejudices are forgotten. They become engrossed in their own roles within the horizontal theater that Prins orchestrates above the copier’s photographic eye. This process feels more spontaneous than traditional photography, akin to a collaborative team effort under her direction.
Assistance is primarily required for larger works, such as providing additional lighting, transporting various props, keeping the background foil in position, or aiding the bent-over models with their sometimes-challenging poses. For such sessions, Prins has prepared a separate table to extend the copier, accommodating her live models.
In summary, what immediately strikes you about copy artist Lieve Prins’ work is the precise and almost tangible realism of the copied people and objects, alongside an alienating effect, as if the figures appear to glide or float, creating a real-life dreamworld.