FischGrätenMelkStand (herringbone milking parlor) is the title of the final project at Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin
, curated by artist John Bock. Like previous artist-curated exhibitions, his complex concept is based around an emphatically subjective artistic viewpoint.
For FischGrätenMelkStand, John Bock has developed a masterful meta-structure within which he installs works by 63 artists, architects, and composers. Besides installations, films, models, and sculptures, there are also historical film props, music scores, books, and fan items. The herringbone in the title refers to the symmetrical design of this type of automated device used in dairy farming. The eleven-meter-tall steel construction creates a range of spatial situations over four levels, linking the individual works into a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk, or total artwork. The dimensions of the walk-in installation are almost those of a Berlin tenement block, with just under 150 square meters of floor space on each level. The makeshift-looking architecture of the rooms fitted into this framework consists of jumbled materials like corrugated iron, wood, car tires, blankets, socks, or burnt pizzas.
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 or contrast strongly with it. In this way, 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.
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 spatial constellations and the artworks they contain.
John Bock (born 1965 in Gribbohm) lives and works in Berlin.