Tilmann Meyer-Faje: Game Over, 2020
Wherever man ventures – by land, by sea or by air – conflict is never far away. The battle fleet that Tilmann Meyer-Faje built in two months from grey clay seems to underline this principle. With its impressive numbers and intimidating guns, Game Over refers to the maritime prowess that has been a foundation of global power since Roman times. The different types of war ships from the industrial era, whether frigate or supply ship, aircraft carrier or patrol boat, all adhere to the same dull visual language of functionality and deadly efficiency. They evoke associations with great organisational and economic effort, with vital interests at stake.
Inspired partly by the short drying time of the clay, Meyer-Faje works at a vigorous pace. Frames, hull, deck, deckhouse and details like radar, ladders, hoses and turrets spontaneously take shape under his hands. There is no time for careful finishing or corrections; when it sticks, it’s fine. In the course of construction, cracks already start to appear in the impenetrable armour, here the bow is strained, there the bridge seems about to collapse. The ships attain a vulnerable quality that is both endearing and degrading. Over time, little remains of the fleet but a certain amount of materials that, through a large-scale, standardised production method, almost incidentally attained its current shape.
Game Over is a follow-up on the merchant fleet that Meyer-Faje built before, titled Full Speed Ahead. His work visualises how subservient people have become to complex industrial processes in which even the designer merely executes his duties in the service of profitability.
Text by Nanne op ‘t Ende
Photo captions (first six images)
Entire installation in old shooting range at Marine terrain in Amsterdam, exhibited with Cityscapes Foundation. Installation size: 380 x 220 cm. In total 11 warships build at Sundaymorning@ekwc in 2020.
Photo captions (Last image)
Jetfighters 10 x 9 x 6 cm , part of Game Over installation. The jetfighters as they belong to the aircraftcarrier are available to buy in the Sundaymorning@ekwc shop. EUR 50,- each.