armory week 2014

John Bock Disassembles Himself at Sprüth Magers’ Independent Booth

The booth.

The booth.

“Beautiful woman spouting nonsense with a chainsaw” would have been a good name for a hair metal album, but it was also just a thing that happened on Thursday afternoon at Sprüth Magers booth on the inaugural day of the Independent Art Fair.

She wore a white white dress shirt and goggles, cutting into a statue of John Bock, whose piece this was. The statue was in a screaming pose and every now and then the actress playing its executioner would stop to tell a story about having her (its? Bock’s?) appendix removed. Soon the author of the story was visiting with spirits. “The one who spoke to me the first time turned out to be a traitor,” she said. “He turned out to be Satan’s assistant.”

Next to her sat a copy of Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction and a banana, a possible “Bananafish” reference, until she ate it during a break.

How to describe her style? Methodical. Yet unorthodox. Many curved slices. She stood behind it as she went for the love-handle section, which went flying away from her toward the crowd, then she pounded the claw of a hammer into the stump and tried to pry off a chunk of where the lower vertebrae would be. Though she did this without affect, you got the sense she was slightly angry at the statue simply because a non-emotional person would just disassemble it neatly.

“By Saturday,” whispered director Franziska von Hasselbach during one of the actress’s speeches. “It will be only pieces.”

“We will put them in bags, for display” she added.

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