Gió Marconi is pleased to announce Light Scribble on Neck Muscle, a new exhibition by German artist John Bock and his fifth with the gallery. Invited by John Bock is Heiner Franzen, a fellow artist of the same generation who also started his career in Berlin in the 1990s.
Born in 1965, John Bock became known in the mid 1990s for his performances, his so-called Lectures, as well as for his expansive installations, consisting of everyday objects and videos. His early Lectures, which were a crossbreed of performance and academic lesson, focused mainly on economic themes (the artist had, in fact, studied economics and art at the University in Hamburg) and were subsequently combined with topics that were closer to the art world. In recent years, Bock’s practice has become more focused on the medium of film.
John Bock’s oeuvre is impossible to classify as it oscillates between theatre, performance, video, installation, sculpture and collage and is in constant interdisciplinary dialogue with economics, agriculture, music, fashion, philosophy, experimental language and popular culture. Instead of working within predetermined categories, Bock’s work much rather serves in order to confuse the boundaries between different genres and to break them open.
For the exhibition at Gió Marconi, John Bock has produced an installation that combines the artist's typical elements of live action and self-made objects in a purpose-built space: a curve-shaped environment consisting of a large soft textile carpet, flanked by paintings on each side, prepares the stage for various groups of objects. Composed of everyday bric-a-brac and equipped with mechanical devices, the objects are brought to life by a fragmentary live lecture performed by Bock. Two movable surveillance cameras on top of a walking frame draw attention to details displayed on small monitors glued to a dead television.
While Bock's live actions, projected onto a foldable, old-fashioned slide-screen, are executed in stop motion, a retro LP player delivers the soundtrack to the film. In this installation, everything is seemingly connected with everything else on both a mere material as well as a symbolic level.
The expansive installation is complemented and completed by a series of differently sized 3-D collages. The collage has always been an important and much-used medium for John Bock. With this new body of work he extends the classic collage into the third dimension. With wit and a large variety of found materials typical for the artist, Bock creates small scenic environments and miniature worlds of his own.
Heiner Franzen processes collective memories from everyday life -memory effects, films, icons, medicine, etc.- and places them in large drawings and video installations. For this exhibition, Franzen shows "Field of Vision", an ensemble of drawings, objects and video projections. Animated photographs. A footballer after he missed a penalty. A keyhole peep A shortsighted projector. Shiningfeet turn to leave. Mouth movements and looks from a Pasolini movie. Pulling up pants on the horizon. Fibrous figures and mutating gestures. Simple cinema slips into the paper and back again. He films, animates, draws, disassembles, distorts this material and places it in ensembles that the recipient can traverse like an episodic memory.