November 25, 2006
“Mit Schisslaveng” (loosely translated, “off the cuff”) is the programmatic title of German artist John Bock’s fourth solo show at the Anton Kern Gallery. The exhibition will consist of a film installation called “Zezziminnegesang” and a group of sculptures installed on the roof of the gallery and accessible via a spiral staircase puncturing through the skylight to the roof. The exhibition will be on view until November 25, 2006.
Seemingly off the cuff, Bock’s work is finely choreographed in the improvisational spirit of Hülsenbeck’s recitals, Kaprow’s happenings or Beuys’ more communicative actions. Making the semiotic openendedness of everyday materials the core of his collages, assemblages and films, Bock intends his works to be potentially useful and operational, thus engaging the viewer directly in a Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art.” “Zezziminnegesang” for example is not only a film about a down-and-out obsessive-compulsive protagonist who lives with a ghost named “Golden Man” and a mummified skeleton, but is also a sculptural installation which includes an inviting armchair. The slightly off-kilter spiral staircase takes the visitor up to the sculptures on the roof and out of the gallery environment into the unruly realm of Chelsea air space, where principles are altered and escape from the art world is actually possible.