Whitney Biennial 2014

Solo en Inglès

Hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Biennial. The guide also features commentary from Biennial curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner.

Philip Vanderhyden on re-making Gretchen Bender’s People in Pain, 1988

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Philip Vanderhyden: In terms of actually making it, it is a really simple process, it is just sitting in the studio with a heat gun and you take a sheet of this vinyl, you just sort of aim the heat gun at it and you try not to start up the vinyl on fire. You melt it. The idea is that, you want it to look a little bit like a burnt film celluloid or a garbage bag.

If you can approximate that form, as you are doing them you weave the panels together and you backlight those panels of little pieces of neon tube and voila! Four months later, you have the piece.

An artwork with the lettering "batteries not included."

Philip Vanderhyden: In terms of actually making it, it is a really simple process, it is just sitting in the studio with a heat gun and you take a sheet of this vinyl, you just sort of aim the heat gun at it and you try not to start up the vinyl on fire. You melt it. The idea is that, you want it to look a little bit like a burnt film celluloid or a garbage bag.

If you can approximate that form, as you are doing them you weave the panels together and you backlight those panels of little pieces of neon tube and voila! Four months later, you have the piece.


Gretchen Bender, People in Pain, 1988 (detail). Paint on heat-set vinyl and neon, 84 x 560 x 11 in. (213.4 x 1422.4 x 27.9 cm). Remade by Philip Vanderhyden, 2014. Estate of Gretchen Bender