Photo: Martin Schlecht

Space for Franz for Space

Written by John Bock,

This blog series is an homage by four former students of the artist and teacher Franz Erhard Walther. In a poetic, fragmentary and anecdotal manner, they speak of formative memories from their study years, as well as of the longing, praise and uncertainties in their search for their own artistic language. For us, they have a look back in time.

K22-Cut UP Meechelasticity: trainer with torn heel and mended lace, when language
readjusts the world. Existo-neurosis as FORM-ACTION. Action-urge-drama slips optimally
into the singing CAMP.
Crushed whey-me-mind slides juicily to and full on the extended base. The material is scarce
and psychosomatically manageable under the festered fingernail.

Pressure test for empty vessels. Field, around, and bang an e-fence.
Silage cram clog the wedge shape at the melting-site of artistic value.
The SITE is an usher, movement, direction, furrow, lecture, black hole. Flickering light,
cinematic, goes dustily lumpy and crumbles to firm measure-bodies and shining weight-
bodies. Scale hangs spinelessly in the loop of the material call.

Objects demand minioning.
Four openings.
Variable sing-being.
All objects in their place.
Crippled objects dislocate the eyeball.
Coffee drawing into DIN A4.
Red beet stain on shirt collar.
Two columns, red on the inside.
Milking evenly – squirt deeply.
Activity is sculpture.

The foetus god in the poltroon feeds on drained clichés.
The dead jewel dwells in the body of the pillar corpus. Clamp the Madame de Pompadour
coat into the movement sculpture. Instinct-ingenuity gripes about the red pepperoni. Drench
the nettle until it is red.

Image interior / The loss of object neurosis.
Image exterior / The impact of the object pole.

Franz stands in front of the drawing plinth.
John stands firm in the oversized
Bundeswehr trousers.
K22. Site of sites in the Inside Beyond
of the Main Brain Drain, profoundly memorised in the
Milking-Me-Mind camp.

K22-Think Hut.
ZeroHero – K22.

Raumelemente (1973) Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Persepectives Ausstellungsansicht / Exhibition view. Haus der Kunst. 2020. Photo: Maximilian Geuter
Raumelemente (1973) Franz Erhard Walther. Shifting Persepectives Ausstellungsansicht / Exhibition view. Haus der Kunst. 2020. Photo: Maximilian Geuter

John Bock (*1965) was born in Gribbohm, Schleswig-Holstein, and studied with Franz Erhard Walther at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. The Berlin-based artist combines various art forms, such as theater, performance, film, sculpture, drawing, actionism and large installations, to create multimedia and grotesque works. Bock actively involves the viewer, intentionally shocking them and crossing social and psychological boundaries. His work has been presented at important art venues such as the Venice Biennale (1999; 2005) and documenta 11 in Kassel (2002), and in solo exhibitions at the Barbican Center in London (2010), the Bundekunsthalle in Bonn (2013-14) and, most recently, at the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin (2017). Bock is a professor of sculpture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe.

Read more artist texts of this series written by Stef Heidhues, Peter Piller and Christian Jankowski.