Knick-Falte in der Schädeldecke
March 15–April 12, 2014
The film Unzone Eierloch by John Bock begins with a scene which can be understood as a metaphor for his entire œuvre: The main protagonist, who could be considered to be a young version of the artist himself in terms of height, appearance, and clothing style, stands in front of a generic oil painting depicting a seascape. He secretely scrapes away some oil paint from the canvas, whereupon a flood of blue-green slime emerges from the cut. The leak in the painted ocean cannot be plugged, the oozing slime cannot be stopped.
In his actions, lectures, installations, drawings, sculptures and films, John Bock likewise continues to bore and prick until that symbolic primal slime becomes visible which billows beneath the ordered pathways of our culture. With playful ease, he repeatedly reveals the anarchical, macabre, and often grotesque chaos which we consistently suppress in order to maintain our linguistic conventions, art-historical verities, and social orders. This perspective has given rise to an art of contemporary existential Dadaism which is truly unique.
Knick-Falte in der Schädeldecke is John Bock’s first solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers in Berlin. It brings together three groups of works from the years 2010 to 2014. For Pole Poppenspäler, Bock approaches his comprehensive artistic project in terms of drawing. The title is an allusion to Theodor Storm’s short story of the same name concerning the irreconcilability of bourgeois and artistic lifestyle. In the middle of the installation stands a sculpture which is composed from everyday materials such as plastic buckets and cardboard boxes showing obvious signs of use. It serves as a place for storing several dozen drawings, a selection of which will be hanging across the entire length of the wall behind the sculpture, and which all use a fictitious language consisting of diagrams, notes, and segments of texts. The drawings refer to each other and constitute a closed cosmos of diverse trains of thought which may be combined repeatedly into new patterns. They are to be considered as filmic storyboards.