The Metal Years

Brussels’ Natascha Mehlhop Gallery is exhibiting my solo show The Metal Years. It includes three videos and two series of poster prints, the Vietnam Pop Maps and a triplet of the 3D helicopter models used for 26/20 (SOL Where is it?). The preview of the exhibtion is going to take place on June the 26th at 6 pm. The pictures above are excerpts of the installation Chopper that will have its premiere at the vernissage.

Natascha Mehlhop in Letters on Contemporary about Chopper:

Roicke uses found footage of the time combined with patterns from comics about Vietnam that with their grid strongly remind of works by Roy Lichtenstein. Roicke highlights to which great an extent the Vietnamese jungle became inextricably intertwined with the corresponding jungle of military weapons and helicopters involved. The sheer inconceivable mass of soldiers and helicopters develop a hallucinatory situation allowing for becoming ‘High on war’ a slogan which some US-soldiers even wrote on their helmets.

The idea to Chopper came up when I was researching for my dissertation on the influences of the war in Vietnam on American pop music. The starting point was much broader and included more fields of pop culture than music alone. Comics were one of these leftover cultures. It was quite interesting to see how they portrayed the war. Comics like The Nam and The Punisher didn’t fulfil the cliché of the shallow (pop) Culture Industry. On the contrary they drew an critical image of Vietnam that wasn’t just black and white, bad and evil. While I skipped the comics for the MA dissertation I still had the idea of using them for a video on the same issue, how Vietnam changed pop and sub cultures. At first I used mostly scans of the mentioned comics in a video-comic collage but then I got more interested in the mesh of the comics itself and the close relation the TV screen mesh.

The videos 26/20 (SOL Where is it?) and Panzer will also be presented, both on separate large screens. The Vietnam Pop Maps and the 3D helicopter posters are completing the show. The Metal Years will continue after the gallery’s summer break until the 11th of October. For more information visit the Natascha Mehlhop Gallery website.

This is the online portfolio for motion and design projects and related research of Nico Roicke. I'm a graduate of MA Communication Design, pathway Digital Media, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. Also I'm part of the motion design studios Sir ja sir and Buchstabenschubser.

Beside motion graphics (or motion design, if you prefer) I'm the co-founder of the fanzine and weblog Jackpot Baby! - New digital pop culture (all texts unfortunately in German language) and I write for Berlin's finest Webblog Spreeblick - Pop, Politics, Products & Positions (German again). Go and catch up some of my latest tweets on Twitter (English and German, it's really hard to tell) or take a glance at some of my Flickr pics and Vimeo vids.