UN-EX-SURROGAT, JOHN BOCK AT KULTURHUSET, STOCKHOLM 2015
Gallery 5, 29 May – 20 September 2015
Like the jesters of old, the German artist John Bock uses slapstick or farce in his storytelling to be able to tackle loaded and tragic topics such as fears or repressed desires. His almost shamanistic manipulation and animation of objects can be seen as a liberating exorcism in which laughter acts as a release, while at the same time provoking reflection.
The exhibition UN-EX-SURROGAT presents several complex installations including films, objects and mechanical sculptures, as well as architectural models of not-yet-realized building structures. Bock’s sculptures are often made of cheap, everyday products such as cable, aluminium foil, cardboard, cotton buds and shaving cream. The objects are transformed, mutated, rebuilt and given a new function, all the while commenting on our consumer society. When they are used in films and performative ‘lectures’, entirely new connections and meanings are formed.
The main element of the exhibition – the large installation and its accompanying film Three Sisters (2015) that were specially produced for Kulturhuset Stadsteatern – takes us on an emotional journey in which three sisters come to terms with and avenge the untimely death of the young daughter of one of the sisters. At the core of the installation are the film props consisting of interior elements and items of furniture reminiscent of three-dimensional drawings. In Bock’s own words, some of the objects function as a ‘diagram’ of sorts aimed at conveying and interpreting the ideas behind the film to the viewer, and in combination with the film they form what can be described as a choreography of sorts.