14. 05. 2005 - 26. 06. 2005
Opens 14th of May at 3 pm

John Bock will show new works and present new movie made in Iceland in collaboration with Kling & Bang gallery.

John Bock – Skipolt

“Maybe-Me-Be-Microworld” was the title of John Bock’s debut exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery New York in 1999. The German Artist loves to play with words, material and behavior. Bock creates entire universes using a wildly eclectic range of materials, described in multiple languages. He performs a balancing act between scientific seriousness, madness and slapstick.Especially in his lectures and performances he acts irrationally pretending to discover the world’s hidden secrets. At documenta XI over a period of 10 weeks he did an enormous performance marathon in his huge outdoor installation. His work is a dizzying mix of pseudo-scientific, aesthetic, social, and political commentary. The works of the graduated economist Bock defy any logic. His art could generally be seen as an artistic statement against the world’s rationality which is generated out of his unique visual and verbal language. This view of the world has various precedents, notably in the acts of DaDa or the Theatre of the Absurd, a movement whose goal was to shock audiences into facing up to life in its ultimate, stark reality. Bock believes the pre-conscious associations inherent in words are unavoidable and that only through experience and empathy we can penetrate what he terms the "heavy numb dumb world" of daily life. Bock's lectures seduce and confound, simultaneously proving perhaps, the inexplicability of the interrelationship of man and his universe.

John Bock has recently spent two weeks in Iceland. With a close collaboration with Kling & Bang gallery he decided to produce a new film. The German artist, whose three dimensional works have often served as props for his performances, combines in his show the movie with the leftovers of the protagonist. In this film he is working with the classic ideals of the great explorers and the fear of shipwrecking. The result is untypical, almost romantic. “SKIPHOLT” is very much inspired by the Icelandic nature. As Bock stated in an interview* the landscape here is perfect for an adventure film but he factored out Icelandic mythology. “I was more interested in landscape and how to operate with instruments in landscape. The film tends to be basic without any dramatical elements.” Its title “SKIPHOLT” – which means shiphill (also shiphole) – sounds enigmatic in his simplicity. In point of fact it is simply the name of the street where he was staying.
“The story of ‘Skipholt’ is very simple”, Bock says: “I set off ... with the aid of certain objects I roam through ICEland ... an die at the end. I should better say: I get lost in an Icestorm, which does not automatically mean to die.” But – and here he quoted prosaicly the Economist John Maynard Keynes - "in the long run, we're all dead."

*Interview with John Bock and Christian Schoen in: LIST – Icelandic Art News, #1 [May 2005],

Actors: Sirra Sigrun Sigurdardottir, Daniel Bjornsson, John Bock. | Sound design: Jan Speckenbach, John Bock | sound recordist: Kristjan Zaklynsky | Editing: Jan Speckenbach | Photography: David Schultz | Photos: Erling T.V. Klingenberg, Berglind Jona Hlynsdottir | Assistance: Ulfur Gronvold, Kari Osk Ege, Helgi Orn Petursson | Wound effects: Erling T.V. Klingenberg | Make up: Inga Huldarsdóttir | Production: John Bock and Kling & Bang gallery, Reykjavik | Sponsors: Kling & Bang gallery, Eidar Art Center, Reykjavik Arts Festival 2005, Hafnarfjordur Harbour.
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Grandagarđur 20 - 101 Reykjavík