About the work




Wühl um die Klumpen, 2002-2003
Rooting Around the Lumps
Mixed media
Dimensions variable 

Wühl um die Klumpen is a total installation comprised of a hotchpotch of building materials.  In the edited film Bock adopts the role of puppeteer for his odd constructed puppets. He also plays a mad scientist running amok in his laboratory, and an imaginative artist who turns the world upside down and creates it anew. He produces absurd objects from found ones which he combines in unpredictable ways and introduces as props in a both strange and amusing story.

The fanciful story in Wühl um die Klumpen is joined by the artist himself who in an uninterrupted torrent of speech delivers his so-called ‘lectures’. He parodies scientific lingo from the fields of art history, medical science, law and economy. In this manner Bock fuses disparate spheres: mundane everyday objects and strangely mutated fashion creations are combined with mathematical formulae and expressions of human emotions such as empathy, love and impatience.

In Wühl um die Klumpen Bock mimics the processes and thought patterns of science. However, he does not adhere to the conventional criteria for scientific argumentation: his lecture is entertaining, and the work seems chaotic and absurd. However, his point is not in the finished result but in the process: crossing the boundaries and making the various fields interact in a new and different manner.

Bock creates a peculiar, surreal universe that is both aesthetically challenging, conceptually groundbreaking and – not least – extremely entertaining. However, this is not entertainment for entertainment’s sake; there is method in the madness. Thus in Wühl um die Klumpen Bock attempts to mediate between different aspects in life. He dashes conventional wisdom and offers alternative, surprising solutions and connections.

John Bock’s art in general
Bock’s works are positioned in the borderland between performance, video and installation. He creates a surreal, chaotic universe, himself the guide, whose lectures pave the way through this chaos, pointing out unpredictable and wondrous connections. His works reinterpret our rational understanding of the world as a form of absurd theatre. Thus he illustrates that the world not necessarily is shaped as we believe it to be. At the same time he points out that as a consequence, our usual definitions and models of explanation cannot be expected to offer any ultimate truth about contemporary society.

When Bock has finished a performance the stage does not resemble an artwork in the classical sense but rather a playground where a large group of children have been allowed to revel in toothpaste, shaving foam, paint pots and detergent. However, the remains are not supposed to be regarded as a finished artistic object. To  Bock the construction of objects is not the goal but the means to an end in art.

The actual goal is the process: presenting a manner of thought that collects and rearranges elements which influence us in our daily lives. And which the artist attempts to give meaning for us. Therefore our presence at Bock’s performances is not essential to the experience of his works. The whole tableau is always filmed. Then the footage is shown in the remaining installation so that subsequently we can get an impression of where Bock wishes to take us with his art: to a world where everything has lost its fixed meaning and therefore may take on a different and unknown character.

DK-2635 Ishøj
Tel: (+45) 43 54 02 22
Skovvej 100
Opening hours
Tuesday-Sunday: 10-17
Wednesday: 10-21
Monday: Closed
Admission fees
Adults: 50 kr.
Groups: 50 kr.
Pensioniers: 50 kr.
Students: 50 kr.
Children under 18: Free