the next quasi-complex: enter the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada
 

the next quasi-complex: enter the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada

john bock addresses death and its various forms of expression in new exhibition ‘the next quasi-complex’ at the podium space of fondazione prada. in a lightweight manner, intermingling bits of black humor, absurdity, and fragments of daily life, the german artist takes visitors in a grotesque, surreal journey through his practice, which employs installations, performative elements, and entire environments crafted from everyday objects and found materials.

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione pradaimage © designboom

 

 

born in gribbohm, germany, in 1965, bock has had solo shows in various international institutions over the years, including the berlinische galerie in berlin, the kulturhuset in stockholm, and the kunsthalle basel in basel. his work varies from sculptural objects, to films and installations, although he is best known for his performances, enacted in crafted, absurdist environments, which involve visitors in an experiential and participatory relationship with the artist. in ‘the next quasi-complex’, objects on display vary from actual sculptures to remnants from bock’s lectures or film sets, assembled into installations – an act which the artist defines as ‘summutation’, ‘the mutation of what is left after a lecture or after a film shoot has taken place.’

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione pradalütte mit rucola, 2006
image courtesy of fondazione prada and the artist

 

 

upon entering the exhibition, visitors are encountered by a complex of new experimental architectures, fragmentary walls and existing artworks, that form a circular path and enclose a small plaza in the middle. within the complex, stands one of the two works from collezione prada, ‘lütte mit rucola’ (2006), an installation of a living room from bock’s correspondent film, where he plays a crazy killer that tortures and cuts up his victim alive. housed in a newly built, orange structure, the installation invites visitors to witness remnants of the bloody scene from a balcony overlooking the space. the second work from prada’s collection, ‘when I’m looking into the goat cheese baiser’ (2001) is set apart from the rest of the complex. a large, wooden, mobile structure that bock has used in one of his live performances, the installation is covered with inanimate objects, from ‘dead’ electric devices, to anthropomorphic elements, and furniture, as well as a video documenting the lecture held by bock in new york in 2001.

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione pradaimage © designboom

 

surrounding the plaza, various installations and objects embody different forms of death. a tent room made out of a grid of stuffed socks houses an assemblage of ‘dead equipment’, while on another side, sit the skins of a pair of ‘razors’, motorbikes popular in eastern germany, topped with a fish bone on a plate.

 

the exhibition ‘the next quasi-complex’ is on show from 18 july to 24 september 2018 in fondazione prada‘s milan venue. it will culminate in a live lecture, scheduled for 8 september 2018, in which the artist and the actors lars eidinger and sonja viegener will activate the mobile stage of ‘when I’m looking into the goat cheese baiser’, navigating around the installations ‘like a fly around a carcass.’

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada
the orange room houses the installation ‘lütte mit rucola’ 
image © designboom

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada
inside the white, cylindrical tent, a chair is hanging from a chain
image © designboom

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada
‘the hanging chair is a double of myself, or quasi-me, it’s a torture…it’s the negative of a living body,’ mentions the artist
image © designboom


around the small plaza, stairs, tiny doors, curtains, and tunnels assemble various constructions
image © designboom

the next quasi-complex: the surreal, grotesque world of john bock at fondazione prada
image © designboom


exhibition view
image © designboom

image © designboom


view of ‘when I’m looking into the goat cheese baiser’
image © designboom

detail of view of ‘when I’m looking into the goat cheese baiser’
image © designboom


‘when I’m looking into the goat cheese baiser’: mobile stage with objects
image © designboom

image © designboom


the skin of two ‘razor’ motorbikes
image © designboom

photo by jacopo farina


exhibition view
image © designboom

image © designboom

photo by jacopo farina

image © designboom


overview of ‘the next quasi-complex’
image © designboom


photo by jacopo farina

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