28 04 15
11 10 15
John Gerrard is well-known for his elaborate animations, which he generates after exploratory journeys as well as text and image research on the computer. The exhibition «Exercise» introduces a series of works by the internationally aspiring artist, created in 2011-2014, which address the so-called military-industrial complex against the background of high-tech wars and global medialization since the 1980s. On a second glance, however, it also involves the practice of body and mind in a meditative sense. For entering the images requires concentration. Their logic and beauty are only gradually opened up to the viewer. Painting and Sculpture, Photography and Film, Dance and Performance, Architecture and Landart - John Gerrard's compositions take inspiration from many arts and show what connects them.
Trailer to the exhibition
Leonhard Hofmann for the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 2015
A mysterious road network in the Gobi desert which is used by the Chinese military is the basis of «Exercise (Dunhuang)» (2014). From three perspectives - landscape, drone, satellite - virtual cameras track the movements and encounters of workers of a computer factory in Guangzhou. At the end of each cycle, which lasts two or three days, only one player remains. All the other figures (38) then stand up and gradually form a «pattern within the pattern» around him or her.
© Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Photography: Axel Schneider, 2015
In the year of the Olympics in London, John Gerrard worked with athletes who were preparing for the games. In «Exercise (Djibouti)» (2012), their digital duplicates appear in two teams, red and blue. © Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Foto: Axel Schneider, 2015
A cycle is formed mainly by a color in the spectrum. Djibouti (East Africa) is an exercise site for US soldiers stationed there. © Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Foto: Axel Schneider, 2015
«Burning Oil Fields (near Abadan, Iran)»
«Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran)» (2011) and «Burning Oil Fields (near Abadan, Iran)» (2013) simulate a landscape of the Irak-wars of 1980. © Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Foto: Axel Schneider, 2015
«Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran)»
The man in the uniform presents 365 days a year without a single break body positions in combat situations. The movements were rehearsed by a dancer. © Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Foto: Axel Schneider, 2015
«Live Fire Exercise (Djibouti)»
«Live Fire Exercise (Djibouti)» (2011) reconstructs the setting, a military exercise ground in Djibouti, as a kind of stage. At the beginning of the 20-minute animation, military vehicles take off as if in a machine ballet, resulting in a slow-lighted explosion. The virtual camera encircles the fireball sculpture. A projection of the work was the stage for a performance of the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London. © Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Foto: Axel Schneider, 2015