Tobias Fike’s artistic practice is wide-ranging, employing photography, video, sculpture, sound, and collaborative performance as media. Fike explores themes including time, humanity’s relationship to the universe, memory, family, place, and grief. Fike engages regularly in collaborative performances with artists including Matthew Harris and the Flinching Eye Collective of artists.
One of Fike’s most recent installations, Stages, explores memory and plays with ways in which viewers experience art. The artist created an immersive environment incorporating spotlights, shadow, and sound - theatrical elements that connect to his childhood as the son of a theater director. The installation consists of paper cutout leaves, branches, clamps, fans and wooden structures that make no effort to hide their simple and seemingly slap-dash fabrication. An accompanying sound component integrates muted voices, trains, bells, and other sounds eliciting a sensation of nostalgic memory.
By inviting viewers onto the “set” behind the effects - fans gently blowing on paper leaves, shadows seemingly cast by a moonlit glow creating an artificial night scene - the artist opens a dialogue about the ways in which we construct and understand our own memories.
As Fike shares: “There is a visual difference between the more polished, finished look of the shadow on the wall and the raw, loose quality of the sculptures but they rely on each other. I think the refined look of the light and shadow gives some freedom to be less so with the sculptures. Those, in the end, feel more honest to me anyway. They are primarily working out of functionality but have their own beautiful and flawed aesthetic that seems like they aren’t trying too hard to be “art” or something more than they are.”
Tobias Fike is originally from Nebraska and currently working and living in the Denver metro area. He received his BFA in 2000 and MFA in 2011 at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in Germany, Portugal, Houston, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. Recent group exhibitions and performances include: Drive In at Black Cube, Denver, Labor Sounds, a collaborative performance with Ryan Ruehlen at the Emmanuel Gallery, University of Colorado, Denver, and A Day In The Life, a collaborative performance with Matthew Harris at the Denver Art Museum.
About the Exhibition
GOCA’s first exhibition of the 2018-19 season, Collectivity, will investigate points of connection between artists from two significant artist collectives based out of the Western United States – Hyperlink (Colorado) and Durden & Ray (Los Angeles) in concurrent exhibits across two states.