'Christian Jankowski: I Was Told to Go With The Flow' at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany
4 July 2022
Kunsthalle Tübingen presents a survery exhibition by Christian Jankowski encomapssing not only film but also photography, painting and sculpture.
By utilising the medium of human relationships, the comedic slapstick humour of Formulae, or indeed any of the other innumerable tools of modern communication available, Jankowski trades blows with history, politics and the language of art. His works are almost always 'performances' – both literally and figuratively – in so far as his carefully calibrated set-ups and interactive scenarios engage occasionally unsuspecting collaborators. The collaborative nature of Jankowski's practice is paramount, as each participant often unwittingly contributes his or her own texture to the story.
A major new work specially created for this exhibition, I Was Told to Go with the Flow, links the notion of the 'traveling artist' with the growing trend towards self-optimisation in society today. The artist allotted the names of selected self-help books to the transportation crates in which the works for the exhibition travelled to Tübingen, then arranging those crates on a punt that is now 'stranded' in the Kunsthalle. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – a bestseller for ‘successful people’ – had been recommended by Lisson Gallery's Nicholas Logsdail during a conversation about the shape of Jankowski's career. Jankowski started reading and found inspiration for self-reflection and for a new work. The result is a new hybrid image for our day, not only representing the figure of the artist in search of meaning, but also making nonsense of it, inspiring us to reconsider the notion of a better self in the tension field between lived experience and acquired knowledge.
On view until 30 October. Find further information here.