December 1, 2011 - Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes - Joachim Koester
December 1, 2011

Joachim Koester

Joachim Koester, “Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes,” 2011.
Production Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes.*

Joachim Koester​
Nathalie Ergino, director of the Institut d’art contemporain

9 December 2011, 6.30 p.m.

Press Preview:
9 December 2011, 11 a.m.

Institut d’art contemporain
11 rue Docteur Dolard
F-69100 Villeurbanne

The Institut d’art contemporain has invited Joachim Koester for his first large monographic exhibition. Born in 1962 in Copenhagen (Denmark), Joachim Koester lives and works in Copenhagen and New York.

Joachim Koester participated in Documenta 10 in Kassel (1997) and in the Venice Biennial (2005). He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. Recent monographic exhibitions were held at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2010), Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2010), Turker Art Museum, Finland (2009) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007) and in France, in particular at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris (2001).

The exhibition at the IAC assembles a large set of existing works and new works, consisting mainly of films and photographs. Joachim Koester has designed the exhibition like a pathway through a maze that fills all the space available and that forms a work in itself.

Drawing on both the documentary and fiction, Joachim Koester’s work re-examines and reactivates certain forms from the past while paying attention to the questions of conscience and the fading of the senses. In a cinematographic spirit, he develops a recurrent principle of image editing to grasp a collective memory and perform both mental and geographic exploration.

In this permanent investigation of the test of time and of erasure, Joachim Koester draws on the duality of the scientific relationship with the real and sensitive experience. Thus the representation as photos or film of places full of history and then deserted to which he turns often accomplishes this voluntary abolition of the frontiers between rationality and empiricism.

Joachim Koester’s ‘ghost-hunting’ in his works aimed at bringing back forgotten persons or places, is often related to occultism or rituals experimenting with new perceptions. This brings to mind Henri Michaux’s drawings under mescaline, Carlos Castaneda’s shamanistic research, venues for black magic or outlaw communities or ‘psychogeography’ areas. Joachim Koester’s recent works display the human body by the creation of ‘Choreographies’ with a minimalist presentation of the trance, a ‘possessed’ body. Interested in exploring an unknown mental world, the artist re-examines Henri Michaux’s drawings under mescaline by making a ‘psychedelic’ film. The blinding effect is that of ‘Flicker’ aesthetics.

Joachim Koester’s conceptual and experimental approach creates tension between the rational and the irrational and corresponds in part to the research conducted by the ‘Laboratoire espace cerveau*’ at the Institut d’art contemporain. Within this framework, the artist proposes as study works ‘Le rideau des rêves. Visions hypnagogiques’ presented by Yann Chateigné.


His current events in 2012
- List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: 10 May to 10 July 2012
- S.M.A.K, Ghent, Belgium: 6 December 2012 to 17 March 2013

The Institut d’art contemporain gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Rhône-Alpes), the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council and the city of Villeurbanne and especially for the exhibition, the support of the Danish Embassy.

Press contact:
Delphine Peyronnet:

*Image above:
© Joachim Koester.

Joachim Koester
Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
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