My first thought upon entering the Temporäre Kunsthalle on a sweltering summer day was work in progress: the grating beeps of a fork lift resonated throughout the building along with the sounds of wood being spliced by chainsaws and hammering seemingly coming from all corners. Groups of young artists, in t-shirts and baggy jeans, worked side by side, diligently but not feverishly. Still, with less than 72 hours to complete their respective room installations, some ranging from walls made of burnt pizzas, stuffed socks, or intricate wire and metal mechanisms, I had to wonder just how they would.

Curator and artist, John Bock, was on the ground level of their gigantic house of sorts, about to begin a tour with two women from the Deutsche Presse Agentur. We embarked on the journey together and flitted from room to room, John explaining the works and a bit about each artist. Climbing up the steel staircases from one level to the next was slightly worrisome and also fun as it shook with each step and felt as if it just might collapse at any moment. At the end of the tour I interviewed John on the method to the madness.

Text and Photography: Yasmin Martinelli

For FischGrätenMelkStand (herringbone milk parlour), John has developed a masterful meta-structure within which he installs works by 63 artists. An eleven-meter-tall walk-in steel construction creates a range of spatial situations over four levels, linking the individual works into a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk, or total artwork.

Unlike the classic white cube, this scenario offers the works on show anything but a neutral setting. Within a structure that is functional and grotesque in equal measure, the artworks fuse with the space that surrounds them. By this means, John Bock creates surprising poetic, formal, and thematic connections and contradictions that refer to pop culture, architecture, film, science, and everyday life, as well as to parapsychology, music, and fashion. Visitors to the show are invited to embark on their own voyage of discovery.

In his own works, John Bock deals with open structures for which he finds absurd forms with an inner logic that is both playful and compelling. By combining various media – sculpture, installation, film, performance – he creates a total artwork within which the artist himself often appears as a protagonist, explaining his cosmos in sprawling, surreal experimental set-ups. For FischGrätenMelkStand, John Bock reverses this principle, letting the viewer take his place in exploring the precarious structure with its bizarre installations and constellations.

FischGrätenMelkStand Press Release


NAN GOLDIN - Berlin Work 1984 - 2009

CORY ARCANGEL - Here Comes Everybody

STEPHEN SHORE - Uncommon Places


Graham Caldwell



Hello    Contact    Impressum    Links