Archive 2022 KubaParis
CuratorEsther Mlenek and Sira- Zoé Schnmid (Bildrecht GmbH)
PhotographyKaja Clara Joo
SubheadlineIn the soloshow GONZO by korean- austrian artist Kaja Clara Joo (*1991) we follow the ficitional character Gonzo who has developed an intense fear of vertical lines and dedicated his life his motorcycle. His world view begins to crumble down as he gets involved into a tragic bike accident.
Kaja Clara Joo GONZO at Bildraum 07 May 3 - 25, 2022 „The thing is you can die and that´s what makes it fun!“ -Dag Balkmar, On Men And Cars. An ethnographic study of gendered, risky and dangerous relations, Linköping In the exhibition GONZO by the Austrian-Korean artist Kaja Clara Joo at Bildraum 07 the fear of one's own death, anthropomorphic handlings of machines and a longing for a lethal risk are mixed up. At the center of this narrative is the fictional character Gonzo who has a phobia of vertical lines since his birth. He has dedicated his life to his motorcycle since then as it symbolizes the utopia of a horizontal ideology: nothing compares to that elicited feeling of absolute autonomy and self- determination as one speeds towards the horizon in a state of hypnotizing acceleration. When Gonzo is involved in an accident one day his entire worldview is being shaken up. The show attempts to materialize those very fragments from Gonzo's life in a narrative choreography: his vehicle that was injured in the accident, a tire flying away, which in its exaggerated perception blows up to a monumental size. Fragments of autobiographical moments, which accumulate into a dense and confusing compound of sequences racing by the viewer. Explorations of constructed virile archetypes. A desire for lethal danger and the role of the gazing audience as an omnipresent being. The kinetic installation PROSTHESIS (Stand der Dinge) that dominates the exhibition depicts an eery scenery of a wet pavement at night and a loose tire that rotates dangerously in it´s metal construct. It evokes the feeling as if it would free itself from it´s steel harness at any given moment only to smash against and wound any bystanders. Next to it is the artist book GONZO (Anatomie einer Szenerie) on a steel table. Within six chapters we dive into pivotal moments of Gonzos life: from the lack of affection from his mother who dropped Gonzo on the floor when he was born, his overly sexual relationship with his Honda CBF bike and the few last seconds before his body seperates from his motorcycle as he stumbles into an open, fiery and gooey crack in the pavement that leads to an accident. The short documentary ULTRAFRICTION (Wahre Halunken) tells the story of the artist´s brother on a 6- channel video- sculpture that is installed on three massive metal poles. As he jokes about his love for fast cars and motorcycles one starts to wonder whether the interview was authentic and if this person is a copy of the exhibition protagonist. Multiple images and sounds play on simultaneously whilst the viewer gets sucked into a neverending camera- ride through a dark, black pit. The exhibition was created in close artistic and technical collaboration with Christoph Freidhöfer from Kunst- und Räderwerk. The objects in the show deliberately stage organic and collapsing latex, massive, industrial-looking steel constructions, kinetic engines and a seemingly never-ending journey into the pictorial unknown. Fast-paced film cuts that pass by the viewer and scenes of a falling twilight throw the observer back onto himself: in the dark one listens to the jokes and anecdotes of a young motorcyclist.
Kaja Clara Joo