The German artist John Bock creates sculptures, installations, and films, many derived from his absurdist lectures and live performances that reference, as well as critique, cultural politics, Abstract Expressionism, experimental music and film, architecture, economics, philosophy, and science. Named after the “primitive hut” described by the Roman architect Vitruvius as the primal architectural structure, Urhütte (Primitive Hut) consists of a seventy-eight-minute film documenting one of Bock’s performative lectures, as well as a sculptural installation element of three movable-partition walls used as the stage in the performance, plus residual props. The video is divided into several segments, each one dealing with a specific working process that the artist employs, such as the making of an improvisational “painting” using Pepto-Bismol and other colored fluids. Connecting to the Albright-Knox’s history of collecting works by mid-century Abstract Expressionists and the boom in experimental film and video that occurred in Buffalo during the 1970s, Urhütte pays homage to painters such as Jackson Pollock, as well as Structuralist filmmakers like Stan Brakhage.
Label from DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012, August 21, 2012–January 6, 2013