May 25, 2005 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Jan De Cock
May 25, 2005

Jan De Cock

Denkmal 7, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2005, © Jan De Cock

Jan de Cock
Denkmal 7, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2005
26 May - 11 September 2005

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 
Römerberg
60311 Frankfurt, Germany
T (49-69) 29 98 82-0
F (49-69) 29 98 82-240
welcome [​at​] schirn.de

www.schirn.de

Jan De Cock has created his first monumental work in Germany for the exterior and interior of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Born in Belgium in 1976, he is one of the most interesting artists of the younger generation. After a notable museum debut in Ghent in 2001, he attracted attention with a construction placed in a shipyard for Manifesta 5 in San Sebastián in 2004. That work, titled Denkmal 2, blended impressively with the almost cinematic scenery of the disused shipyard in the Bay of Pasaia. The work for the Schirn Kunsthalle is likewise formed to its existing surroundingsthe exterior and interior of the Schirncommunicating not only with the existing architecture but also with the social surroundings and at the same time establishing distance to them. Jan De Cocks spatial and temporal interventions, whose material appearance recall functional buildings, are always articulated in several stages. First, massive architectonic transformations break up the existing space. Wall, floor, and ceiling parts made of wood and other materialsinterlocking niches and boxes with a Minimalist aestheticscreate a severe, geometric, and yet mysterious and seductive landscape that intervenes in the viewers gaze and constantly reorganizes it. The process of creating the works in the series Denkmal, each of which is shown only for a limited time, is ultimately repeated in the form of large-format photographs that are once again transferred to a sculptural context by being presented in light boxes.

Max Hollein, director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, states: Denkmal 7, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2005 is one of just two projects that Jan De Cock will produce in 2005. The second is being produced for Tate Modern in London in the fall. With his works, Jan De Cock uses the filter of his massive interventions in public and institutional spaces to provoke the viewer to see in new ways things that are familiar and thus scarcely perceived anymore. His works achieve their effect through the tension between subtle adaptation to the existing architecture and its context and their own massive self-assertion.

Each Denkmal production is prepared by Jan de Cock in his Brussels studio with his team. The latter build the relatively small, serial formssimple modules like boxes, some of which have veneer on both sidesthat are later inserted into the form that is built on site. The more complex and model-like forms that recall the formalist objects of Minimalism and are in essence about the same thing as the overall formsthat is, the Denkmal created on siteare also created in the studio.
Denkmal 7, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2005, created for the Schirn, is concerned with the art institution as such and its reconversion. Denkmal 7, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2005 is accessible en passant. A 12 x 12 meter wooden box is built in front of the Schirn. Its colors allude to its surrounding: the greens of the sparse plants (but also a color characteristic of the artists aesthetic), the reddish brown of the facade of the cathedral, the white of the Schirn exhibition spaces and thus of the white cube as a framework for presenting art. The box is accessible through two entrances. Through the outer entrance, the visitor arrives in the exhibition space, reconceived as the Museum JDC, where they are confronted a labyrinthine wood formation. This form is distinguished by a precise, mathematical construction of closely placed, mirrored, and interlocked spatial elements. A second entrance, which also functions as the ticket window for the Schirn, combines the exhibition space of the Museum JDC with the spaces of the Schirn, which can be reached by a staircase that has been integrated into the exhibition. The path leads into the rotunda, whose circular floor plan establishes an architectonic opposite pole to the quadratic floor plan of the box. Approximately thirty large-format photo sculptures by Jan De Cock are exhibited in the rotunda. Visitors find themselves in an exhibition space again, but it is also a public space, because its continuous glass facade permits views in all directions. As they move en passant from the public space into the private and precisely defined space of the Museum JDC, they are once again transferred to a public space in the exhibition space proper.

A door leads from the rotunda to a space that is filled with several monumentsJan De Cocks name for the modulesand that relates to the typical situation for exhibiting art, familiar from its institutional framework. Unlike the situation created by the box, whose tight construction literally surrounds the visitor, the monuments create distance and instead activate in us our typical attitude to perceiving art objects.

Jan De Cocks oeuvre has echoes of Donald Judds Minimalist aesthetic and treatment of space as well as Marcel Broodthaerss questioning of the context of art. De Cocks penetrating and clear formal language and his theoretical engagement with the institutional art presentation make his work one of the most exciting oeuvres in the fields of installation and sculpture.

In recent years Jan De Cock has created a series of large-format works, including Denkmal 23II in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Denkmal 9 in the Henry van de Velde University Library in Ghent, and Denkmal 10 in the De Appel in Amsterdam. Denkmal 1, the successor to the Frankfurt work, will be on view in Tate Modern in London from 9 September to 12 November, 2005. In late 2005 he will publish an extensive artists book that will document both projects.
DIRECTOR: Max Hollein
CURATOR: Matthias Ulrich
OPENING HOURS: Tue, Fri - Sun 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Wed and Thur 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
INFORMATION: www.schirn.de

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