Artist Dominique Teufen Creates With A Copier
Posted by Rob Errera on 12/20/2018
An artist sees metaphors where others see the mundane. A keen eye behind a camera finds the duality of man in the unfolding of a flower, or the persistence of time in peeling paint. Artists see what others don’t and they capture their vision with a variety of tools — paper, canvas, ink, and cameras.
Dominique Teufen is no ordinary artist, and her creative inspiration comes from the world around her. Think of an artist’s palette and an office copier rarely comes to mind, but Teufen uses a Toshiba e-studio 255 to create breathtaking and haunting landscapes using common source materials — crumpled paper, bits of lace and fabric, and discarded sandwich wrap.
Toner And Light
Teufen places material on the copier glass and closes the cover. By applying varying amounts of pressure to the copier cover, Teufen manipulates the amount of light the image is exposed to. The results are black-and-white fictional landscapes. Blasted barren moonscapes. A frozen mountain peak. Waves lapping a sandy beach. Teufen’s work is both real and surreal, unearthly yet grounded in earthy realism.
“I have used other copy machines besides the Toshiba e-studio 255 for my work, but I can’t remember which ones,” Teufen explains. “The type of paper or copier I use doesn’t influence me as much as the process itself. I started using a copier in 2009 and it has definitely changed the direction my work.”
Teufen’s work was featured in Wired and is causing a buzz in the online art world. Born in Davos, Switzerland, in 1975, Teufen graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam in 2002. After working and exhibiting her work in Melbourne, Zürich, London, and New York, she moved to Amsterdam and earned her Master of Fine Art degree at the AKV/St. Joost in den Bosch NL. Since 2011 she lives and works in Zürich and Amsterdam. In 2013 she won the Vfg young photography award Switzerland and the MLL–Meyerlustenberger/Lachenal sponsor prize.
In Teufen’s hands a piece of aluminum foil becomes glowing moonlight. Flour and coffee grounds make a textured topography. Teufen admits she enjoys fooling people into thinking her landscapes are a “possible reality.” But look closer and you’ll see the mountains are merely paper and the clouds puffy cotton balls. Or perhaps paper and cotton balls hold the spirit of mountains and clouds inside of them. View the world through Teufen’s eyes — and copier — and the ordinary becomes extraordinary.