Dead + Juicy
December 1, 2018
For our eighth exhibition with German artist John Bock, Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to present Dead + Juicy, a film and sculptural installation commissioned by The Contemporary Austin, which premiered at the museum in 2017. Now staged in New York, the film will run alongside a series of re-envisioned installations spanning two floors. A newly conceived live performance on the night of the opening will add an additional context.
Referred to as “an uncanny musical” by the artist, the film follows the protagonist, Lisa as she interacts with a cast of outsized characters, played by local Texan actors. Unfolding through five chapters, shot in contrasting environments across Austin, the viewer is submerged in a hallucinatory melodrama, full of humor and horror. Each location, a barbershop, a bar, a “modern house" and a wooded swamp among them, becomes inseparable from the artist’s haunting visual language, notes of which are reflected and doubled by the presence of the transformed gallery spaces.
This installation — or “sum mutations,” as Bock explains — combines film, props, soundscapes and projections alongside newly constructed elements and altered gallery spaces. To construct his visual language, Bock employs an obsessive and highly specific vocabulary made from objects, language, and performative actions turning it into a symbolic system that makes reference to economics, agriculture, science, fashion, music, as well as popular visual culture that shapes the ways in which we live.