BERLIN · maybe you wouldn't say at first, but behind the name "Mark Jenkins" is actually a subversive duo - PLATOON members Mark Jenkins #5957 and Sandra Fernandez #5964. Mark started with his tape art in 2003 and Sandra joined him two years later. besides doing art installations, they also really strive to pass on their know-how as they hold workshops.
in January they've had an exclusive exhibition of sculptures and photography, which took place at Gestalten Space. already one day before the opening of the exhibition a mysterious man was found sitting on the top of the U-bahn station at Rosenthaler Platz… what in the end turned out to be one of the duo's clever art installations.
the two artists are playing with tape to create all sorts of models - from small babies, dogs, big giraffes to life-size sculptures of men and women. they inevitably attract people's attention, sometimes also provoke action from the police or the fire brigade. the sculptures may look surreal, but on the streets they become very much alive.
it really takes something outstanding to make us stop and to look at it and to challenge us to re-think about the messages and the feelings we get from such art, when we are in the middle of our everyday routines.
this is also what Jenkins art is about - to make you feel alive and to evoke emotions also in the most unexpected situations. their sculptures can get you upset, anxious, curious or they just put a smile on your face.
of course this is the purpose of all art, but their art installations are doing this outside a place where we usually feel safe - outside established galleries. their art feels more at home on the streets and public spaces - like a child standing alone in the corner of the street or a women sleeping in the bed on the road.
when reflecting upon their art projects, they make you to honestly question yourself: what would you do in those situations - would you try to help or would you just turn away? in fact the duo is combining art with psychosocial experiments.
in the interview we had with Mark and Sandra at PLATOON, they also gave us an uncompromising advice for all the new street artist out there, who are creating, playing and experimenting on the streets: "don't do it for other people on the streets or for your webpage. do it for yourself. pretend that there is an apocalypse and you are the last person in the city. and if you are a creative person, what would you make?"
at the exhibition in Berlin Mark Jenkins also presented his new book The Urban Theater: Mark Jenkins, in which are summoned all of their most striking works. so in Berlin they already laid down the groundwork and we are looking forward to team up with Mark and Sandra to do some amazing things together.