Contemporary Art Museum, MACAY
Exhibition "Relaciones" (Relations)
Contemporary Art Museum, MACAY, Merida, Yucatán, México / April - June 2004
When someone has the perception daily events are very similar, not to say the same, between men of different latitudes, whatever their origin, no matter if they are “little people” or important characters, one can go from one country to the other, with no other luggage than his creator’s capability and his heart in his hands, That’s what Jo Köser has been doing; from Germany to Spain, from Spain to Mexico. But above all, tireless traveller of the inner roads, where man faces himself, in order to find tenderness and comprehension for his fellowmen, their tasks, frustrations, and loves. This voyage goes further than a simple rhetoric exercise; it’s a life philosophy, the essential element of his work, the words of his own language.
Formally, Jo Köser’s sculpture can be defined as minimalist, in the most ample meaning of the word, economy of lines and volumes, up to the point in which only one line wrapped the whole work, without any bragging or unnecessary grandiloquence. His elongated figures manifests themselves as if they wish to use the brief of spaces, without invading its surrounds, sweet and discrete, yet so expressive the spectator can’t avoid a smile or the communion with these characters.
Abstraction in the work of the sculptor it’s a perfect synthesis between figure and movement, as if both events were only one. There’s nothing static in the figures here shown. Further on from kinetic sculpture, where movement is incorporated as a part of the plastic discourse, very distant from Calder and the first expressions of movement in sculpture, who even get to use small motors, here movement it’s the reiterative effect of a human impulse (The worker), which confirms his minimalist call, in the rest of his work, apparently motionless, dynamic tension its present, as if the character has been caught in the “very instant of movement”.
Where Köser capacity of synthesis it’s more evident, within the abstract, it is in his monumental work, represented here by a couple dialoguing. At first sight we might think of a couple of rising flames, a second look leads us to appreciate two figures facing each other, where volume it’s the result of a continuous line of gracile harmony where the difference between feminine and masculine body it’s shown by means of a subtle difference in the use of curve lines. This work of art seems to ask, due to his merit, the grace of a natural setup, either fountain, garden or park in which the games of air, light and shadows contributed enhancing all of its beauty.
We must pay attention to the details of a work apparently without details, because the “detail” I’m speaking of its the start of the whole discourse, the figure seated on the little chair or the big chair, both out of human scale, are really seated on another dimension. Who has never felt alien to our society made out of rules and norms? The father and child walking hand in hand are in fact related by the symbiotic life chain (Father and son), even more deep and complex than genetic chain, while the figure unbelievable bent in order to rest his brow on the earth, is really closing his senses to the outside in order to open the inner vision (Self-knowledge). While pair figures face each other seeking to open a communication breach, and the woman lying between two stones offers herself as a bridge to abridge the emotional distance between two boundaries. Perhaps the most representative work of this tendency in which form and plastic discourse became indissoluble it is the sculpture of a woman, who at the same time might be seen as a couple, integration as a result of the deepest of communications.
Jo Köser’s work its a mature work, where technical recourses are wisely used for the Benefit of the artistic result, a successful voyage starting with avant garde furniture design, indoors architecture, light objects, steel, concrete and plaster sculptures and of course the use of movement in objects and sculptures to arrive today to the bronzes. In all of these stages a constant search is present, there are many questions from the artist facing the material, but fortunately, there are also many answers. A wise doing which undoubtedly will take this young sculptor even further in his field.
I dare say the presences called upon by this artist have a double purpose, the aesthetic and the emotional function, even in their synthetic condition, as if they want to be present without using to much space, as someone who came near us seeking a caress without imposing, they have the talent of seeking friendship without to much noise. This relationship between the inhabited space and the empty space, has something to do with Zen’s philosophy, and somehow establishes a close relation between Köser’s work and the work of the great absentee: Eduardo Chillida. It is wonderful to see how with the use of strong materials, worked with creative strength the result could be as fine as a line on water.
María Gabriela Dumay
Crítica de Arte