April 3, 2010
Opening Reception and Lecture: Monday, March 1 from 5 - 7 pm
February 10, New York—The fifth solo show at Anton Kern Gallery of German artist John Bock includes a two-channel video projection, a squid-powered metal sculpture with video, a group of hanging soft sculptures, and a lecture dance-performance on the opening night (March 1), that allows the viewer a unique chance to witness the transformation of words, actions and everyday materials into distinct sculpture. This body of work speaks a new rigorous formal language and shows the artist expanding forms and using new materials.
Displayed in the back gallery, “PARA – SCHIZO, ensnarled,” entirely filmed and produced in Korea, is the first double projection in Bockʼs large film and video oeuvre. Seemingly entangled in a love story, the two protagonists are on distinct but parallel paths, converging, clashing, imitating and in the end destroying each other in a cycle of mutual interplay and action. The film is a sequence of situational frames of emotional and formal symmetry in which images and words are intricately composed between the two channels. The script follows a series of word-collages—recomposed classical, modern, and imagined references—forming a language experiment in which the actors become empathetic participants, intuitively responding to Bockʼs text and built environment, where seemingly makeshift objects play a central and active role.
“Büchse” (tin can), placed in the center of the gallery, is an ominously dark metal sculpture, cut and built into precise shapes, reminiscent of a submarine or other aquatic vehicle. Here and in the accompanying film Bock employs the language of travel and discovery, and leads the viewer into the dark realm of exploration and terrains unknown. The group of wall-hangings expands Bockʼs vocabulary of assemblage into strictly conceived sewn-fabric soft sculptures. Although incorporating the occasional found object, they have become new formulations of distinct sculptures while following the artistʼs esthetic of diagrams and exploratory drawings.