John Bock
Heiner Franzen (invited by John Bock)
Light Scribble on Neck Muscle

Gió Marconi, Milano

September 26 – November 14, 2019

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Excerpt from press release

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.

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.


Photo: Filippo Armellin
Courtesy the artist and Gió Marconi, Milan

Here, in the building where Georges Bizet wrote his masterpiece Carmen in 1875, Matt Copson premieres a bildungsroman opera in three laser-projected parts: Age of Coming, Coming of Age and Of Coming Age. His opera tells the story of a baby at odds with a vengeful god, who tries to convince him that life is miserable and cruel, and nothing more. On view High Art, Paris
Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand
Der Tank of the Art Institute, Basel
Lafayette Anticipations, Paris
Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon
JTT, New York
Édouard Montassut, Paris
Avant-Garde Institute, Warsaw