Tattvam asi as they say in Sanskrit, which means: This is you - or you see yourself in the other. Köser´s concrete-sculptures create this holistic reflex in a very direct and emotional way: This figure, this human being, is me.
"Concrete is what one makes out of it". The concrete processing industry in Germany uses this advertisement as a slogan. The banality of the slogan is as big as its veracity. For Jo Köser the charm is not only in the "what", but rather in the concealed "HOW".
Köser does not pour the concrete - in the art world "unaccepted" material - into sculptures. Rather, he constructs his figures directly in concrete, forms and models on the "living object". This process has ostensibly a masochistic aspect because the material concrete limits the artistic style in every imaginable way. Concrete dries quickly. When it is hard it is not pliable. Above all Köser’s fragile-looking concrete sculptures need a stable armature, which gives the figure already in an early phase the later form.
This way of working demands less speed rather than a consistent visionary approach to the form and its statement. In order that his work does not become a "death mask of the conception" (Walter Benjamin), Jo Köser has to have from the very beginning a clear inner image of his goal. Not to lose this goal under the pressure and difficulties of concrete; always keeping it before the "mind’s eye"; and remaining accessible to one’s self as well as the observer is the charming aspect of this procedure and the sculptures.
The inner theme of his works is nearly always the human being in reference to himself and to others. This is not presented as a monolithic statement but rather one of the many possible attitudes, motions and appraisals.
The placative, sometimes naive colouration of the figures underlines this ambiguity of the message: This offers a thinkable connotation to the sculptures, and is not used only as a happy aspect. Therefore Kösers concrete works open up an approach, which always becomes a more individual and personalised approach, which one experiences.
These works were sculptured from 1996 to 2000, most of them during his 7 months stay in Ibiza, Spain.
Thilo von Heydekampf