JÅRG GEISMAR / COME CLOSER 2
Recently had a conversation with my friend and colleague Jårg Geismar, touching base on our lives , what we are working on and stuff in general. This was just after I spent a week of more than usual Art consumption in NYC during Armory Week. He presented me with “Come Closer 2” his latest Art exposition in Nässjö Kunsthall, Sweden. Looking at the works, it brought back memories of our New York Art collaborations as fellow artists and curators. It also struck me how relevant and timely his work is for our times, specially after seeing incredible amount of Art; Art Fares as aggregators of Art, something parallel to social media concentration of
information, incomprehensive as well comprehensive compressed overload, where money is the driving force trough which order is enforced on creativity. You know is wrong in indulging in that spectacle but you can't help it. After this suddenly Jårg offering me his images and guiding me trough his thought process worked like some sort of a medicine , it was a perfect counterpoint to what is Art Market’s Imperial stand in the world’s capital of commerce.
This is Jårg at his best, it brought me back to “Sites of Intolerance “ a PS1 , New York, 1992 Art show where he participated with his installation work. Thematically this two exhibitions have a similar political premises dealing with intolerance and tolerance. They also share his mastery of the space with poetic light touches (trademark of Jårg’s work) with affinity to ethos of Arte Povera objects and materials like red roses, plastic red airplanes, cellophane, glass, aluminum ,light of film projections, …, there’s a musicality to it all achieved with color and rhythm of placed items in space. He has a good sense of Architecture of the space that informs him how to create so it becomes a conveyer, communication tool for his idea as good Conceptual Art ,from where his work derives from, does. In “Come Closer 2” materials he is using , cellophane, aluminum ,glass and drawings and words written in a manner that his physical presence is felt in the space, 5 red squares on glass walls of the museum that interact with the outside landscape, projections of film images from the cities that are part of Jårg’s life,
the personal, public, nature , universal …merges and communicates with each other and charges itself with the meaning in a manner not dissimilar to Joseph Beuys’s work. The fact that Jårg is alumni of Düsseldorf ‘s Academy of The Art is felt in the DNA of this exhibition. There’s also time based element in this, the light as another ingredient of this clear minded
alchemy, it is a present medium in a square of the film projection and it is flooding the room trough large glass walls interacting beautifully with the translucent red color of red squares bringing in the rhythm of nature, changing light of the day turning into night and Winter turning into Spring. It is very poetic and elegant if I can use this therm. So are glass panels placed over aluminum on the gallery floor like some sort of energy generating machines . Standing on the glass evokes nature outside the gallery walls, ice on a frozen lake in a cold Swedish winter.
Large drawing on cellophane sheets facing the red rectangular on glass wall and the outside changing landscape has a monumental quality to it. It is a code to be deciphered, like a page from Leonardo’s codex , with drawing of objects and words in reverse, introducing language and with it mental gymnastics viewer must involve herself or himself.
Thinking is the key to it all in this show, as we are surrounded by eazy stimuli of our Hyper- Capitalism merged with new technologies that are erasing private space , mind space, space of thinking , space where critical thought can be formed ,aggressively turning us in data commodity to be sold this Jårg’s work is precious and valuable. Time passed between his PS1 show, unthinkable changes happened since then, in that show there's a sense of times to come, now we are in the middle of it, where are we as societies going is now questionable.
What Geismar provides us with this exhibition is the space where we can stop, restore our self and face what is in front of us with a critical eye and stand that can change things and that what good Art does.
Emil Memon NYC, March 26, 2018