tectonic industries: If it’s not working for you, you’re probably not doing it right

Burton & Judy Onofrio Gallery 2011

tectonic industries is a collaborative art partnership of the Danish artist Lars Boye Jerlach and the British artist Helen Stringfellow. The members met in Edinburgh College of Art whilst both pursuing MFA’s in Sculpture. Recognising overlaps in ideals and approaches to artmaking, they began collaborating in 1999. They moved from Europe to the USA in 2001, and were based in Minneapolis for eleven years. After living in Auckland, New Zealand for sixteen months, the members moved back to the US in January 2014 and now live and work in Portland, Maine.

tectonic industries examine the artifice inherent within the creation of the modern myths and belief systems of popular culture. Ultimately these created worlds become a pervasive form of reality, universally meaningful within the mainstream collective memory. At the heart of the investigation lies a fascination with visual, literal, televisual and cinematic pop culture that centers on appearances and narrative. Borrowed language is distorted, manipulated and morphed to heighten the artificial. Referencing immediately identifiable cultural signifiers in conjunction with our seemingly endless quest for self-improvement, tectonic industries create mixed-media installations that scrutinize our all-encompassing desire for instant gratification and immediate satisfaction.


An empty inflatable dinghy appears to float above the ground, pointed as if journeying towards a distant constellation. It is tethered to the gallery floor by an anchor. A disco ball above slowly rotates.


A model of the Parthenon is built in to the structure of the contemporary art gallery, so that they appear to merge and assimilate in to one.


Gold vinyl lettering spans 45 feet across the atrium wall at the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Boldly stating “If you can’t make it right make it big”, the text is self-referential, commenting on it’s own scale, the institution, the notion of artwork within such an institution and contemporary culture as a whole.