Anton Kern

John Bock

27 Feb - 03 Apr 2010

© John Bock
PARA-SCHIZO, ensnarled, 2010
Film still
Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York

February 27 – 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 lecturedance-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 Bock’s 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 Bock’s 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 Bock’s 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 artist’s esthetic of diagrams and exploratory drawings.
Bock’s work has been exhibited widely including solo shows at Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea; REDCAT, Los Angeles (both 2008), Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (2007); State Opera, Berlin (2006), FRAC, Marseille (2005), the ICA London (2004); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000); as well as participations in the Biennale di Venezia, the Lyon Biennial (both 2005), the Carnegie International (2004), Documenta 11 (2002), and the Yokohama Triennale (2001). A large sculpture-video installation by John Bock is currently displayed in the exhibition “Imaginary Museum: Dakis Joannou Collection” at the New Museum in New York.
The exhibition will run from Friday, Feb 27 to Saturday, April 3, 2010. The opening is on Monday, March 1, 5 to 7 pm; the performance will start at 6 o’clock. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm. For further details on the artist and the work, as well as for more images, please contact Anton Kern Gallery at (t) 212.367.9663, (f) 212.367.8135 or email:

Tags: John Bock