John Bock

01 Mar - 07 Apr 2007

John Bock
Malträtierte Fregatte
1 March - 7 April 2007

Last autumn, the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden was showing John Bocks Medusa im Tam Tam Club oder die malträtierte Fregatte ('John Bock's Medusa at the Tam Tam Club, or the Maltreated Frigate’), an opera written and staged by John Bock with a live soundtrack by the band ‘Blackmail’ and the Berliner Staatsorchester. Gallery Klosterfelde is very happy to announce the second part of this project, the installation Malträtierte Fregatte at their Zimmerstraße location.

The opera was inspired by the infamous catastrophic shipwreck of the French ship Medusa in 1816 off the west coast of Africa. Of 150 sailors, only 15 men survived the 13 brutal days on their makeshift raft at the mercy of the high seas. With Bock’s bizarre rock opera, fragments of this popular parable around murder and cannibalism were transfused into a resounding location - the former storage depot of the opera. There, a very large old police van had been suspended upright from its 8m high ceiling, as a reinterpretation of the Medusa raft. The bus was the floating stage on which Bock, as Minnegesangsmutje (a kind of 'ship’s cook-come-minstrel’) as well as the captain and his mother (Muddi), impersonated by the actors Thomas Loibl and Anne Tismer, lived through the adventure as absurd demise. Weightlessly and clad in fantastic costumes, they were scrambling about in the bus, that seemed to gravitate fast toward chaos, like a capsule lost in space.

The bus remains central lieu of action, also in the installation - here it is presented as a squeezed scrap heap, monumentally blocking the room with its 3-ton occurrence. As is often the case with John Bock, the installation is both, minimalist sculpture (in this case with references to John Chamberlain), and performatively charged environment. The projected films in the second gallery room resurrect the performance - here it is possible to sample the interplay between Bock’s quasi-scientific theory monologues, operatic diva arias and rock music. The four accompanying notebooks may be understood like a script, illustrating Bock’s thinking processes and visions. A fifth book is in the making.

For further information or images please contact the gallery

duration of the exhibition: 1st March - 7th April 2007
opening hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 - 6 pm and by appointment

Tags: John Bock, John Chamberlain