November 13, 2004
Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present John Bock’s fourth exhibition at the gallery. The show is part of a series of curatorial projects that build upon the idea of collaboration. For his current solo exhibition at the ICA in London, he invited artists with similar interests in ‘action’ (Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Paul McCarthy, Andreas Slominski, Robert Smith, Paul Thek, Rikrit Tiravanija, among others) to take part in the exhibition. Following this format John Bock has invited German artist Bendix Harms to be part of this exhibition.
John Bock is well known for his lectures, which often involve fantastic stage-ˇlike environments and self-sewn costumes. For this show Bock will build human size metal cubicles in which visitors can interact with his action/sculptures. The new work continues his exploration of quotidian objects and the possibilities of how to relate to them. In a dreamlike but conscious manner, John Bock creates situations that guide viewers into a labyrinth of proposals that yield no conclusions.
Dogs, mushrooms, cars and a girlfriend populate the thickly painted canvases of Bendix Harms. The artist uses his life story as an entry point to the work; for Harms, a position of critical distance is a useless trap. His knowledge of art history merges with personal history in paintings that recall turn-of-the-century German portraiture.
“I want to talk about subject matter in which everybody can react, not in a democratic sense but like a synapse. Hurrah or repulsion - like staggering into a room where 20 faces stare at you and after 20 seconds it’s clear with whom you would get along and with whom you definitely would not ” - Bendix Harms