John Bock

John Bock

Frac Sud—Cité de l’art contemporain

Three Diagram Man Meets Loveelasticity, HQ, London, 2001, Collection Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Photo: Andy Keate. View of the exhibit and performance by John Bock at Sadie Coles Gallery, HQ London, September-October 2001.

June 17, 2005

John Bock
July 4th to October 8th 2005
Opening: Saturday July 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

Fonds régional d’art contemporain Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
1 place Francis Chirat
13002 Marseille
T 33 4 91 91 27 55
F 33 4 91 90 28 50
communication [​at​]
open from Monday to Saturday, 10:00-12:00 am – 2:00-6:00 pm.

curator : Christine Macel

The work of John Bock, a German artist born in 1965, evades all classification. Indeed his productions take as much from performance, installation, and sculpture as from slapstick ; they plunge us into a burlesque world reminiscent of the theatre of the absurd, the Cabaret Voltaire or even Kurt Schwitters Merzbau. They also evoke the ars combinatorial, a term used in the seventies to describe the interaction between different visual concepts within one work, and that John Bock amuses himself by responding to literally.

In the middle of a mess of scrap iron, fabrics, knitting, and objects from everyday life, the artist appears as a hybrid character, half mad scientist, half post modern Buster Keaton or under the traits of a pseudo philosopher of chaos. He then gives both eloquent and obscure speeches, a proliferation of words and snatches of knowledge relating to neologisms and technical terms belonging to science and economy (probably reminiscent of the time when he studied the latter subject). Complete improvisations at first (1992-1998), these performances developed into real representations (1996-1999) the artist loading and unloading his car full of objects of every kind and packing everything up again the same evening after the show. As of 1998, installation has become a recurrent if not persistent means of procedure of which the proportions and the set up grow increasingly complex.

In ApproximatioRezipientenbedürfniscomaUrUltraUseMaterilaMiniMax, at the Venice Biennial in 1999, John Bock invited the pubic to climb up precarious wooden structures in order to enter several small rooms full of strange objects that he had made and that he tested on the reckless visitors. At the New Yorks MOMA in 2000, he organised the Multiple Quasi-Maybe-Me-Be-Updown, a fashion show of unbelievable clothes he had made from different fabrics, creating jumpers with never-ending sleeves trailing on the ground, or hats that encircle the head like chrysalides.

As independent as it is radical, his work draws diversely on autobiographical and private sources, or finds material in the artistic experiences of the sixties to widen the range and connotations of his experiments. In this way, John Bocks discovery of Otto Mühls performance work with the experimental film maker Kurt Kren, has led him to use film as a new means of expression, documenting on one hand his performances, and creating on the other hand scenarios where he takes on eccentric roles.

For this exhibition, the artist will make a specific project, which will develop through the prism of Albert Camus, Antonin Artaud and the Count of Monte Cristo.

John Bock is represented namely by the following galleries: Kosterfelde, Berlin; Sadie Coles, London; Gio Marconi, Milan; and Anton Kern, New York.
The Frac would like to extend special thanks to Bettina Klein (Klosterfelde gallery).
The exbibition received support from the Goethe-Institut

Fonds régional d’art contemporain Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
1 place Francis Chirat 13002 Marseille
Phone: 33 4 91 91 27 55 / Fax: 33 4 91 90 28 50 / E-mail:
press contact : Fabienne Clérin
open from Monday to Saturday, 10:00-12:00 am – 2:00-6:00 pm.

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Frac Sud—Cité de l’art contemporain
June 17, 2005

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