Words by Michael Pedersen
In these works, as with the stranger’s photographs Jonathan collects, there’s less of a fictional din of the what and more of a lucid ring of the who and why. His way’s to say, let’s pare down the didactic and accentuate the imaginative to ameliorate the aesthetic. If that makes perfect sense then turn back now, it shouldn’t, no not a bit, not yet.
Within all complexities are rudiments, the daunting timbre of the task rests is in revealing one within the other – of myriad layers and analytical abstruseness Jonathan conjures pulps and purees which take us down to the shimmering yolk of colour and contour. So let’s start with an induction, an integral induction into Jonathan’s harvesting of the ‘accidentally interesting’; points, moments, in some cases the people, on which he roosts and realises in each relished piece.
Jonathan’s is a world where face value and gritty urban realism is at most a playful veil; a world where carousels and cultivations of the imagination take a firm precedence in documenting the sights and sounds around him; where Doors of Perception are constantly wedged open, like a cat-flap into the unconscious conscious; the grandiose in gruels; a world where a wisp of orange engulfed by blue is the flick of seaman’s hood blinking out from within the greatness of massive ocean; where the sun can shed and unravel like thread into delicate fibres of crisp copper.
WE HAVE INVENTED NOTHING
•Each piece has a geometrical anchor and a sociological sail.
•Each piece is a window into the skeleton of shape with a ladder to the psychology of size.
•Each piece is Jonathan, who is himself composed of infallible symmetries – so in that way Jonathan is each piece; shape shifting, twisting, prima facie stationery, but moving inside tides of science, moving with an inexorable glacial heave.
•Each piece has a fantastical overtone and a social undertone – like lineage being not a title but a perspective.
•Each piece has been seen by me before you: it’s in a mews cottage studio where the paints are mixed and applied to panels, where naming and numbering go hand in hand with abstract expressionism and tango into place.
•Each piece was constructed with accident in mind, by misaligning majesty, by momentary wholeness.
If this exhibition was punctuation it would be a semi column, the curvy thrill of the comma, juxtaposed by the steely sting of the final full stop; when laid out together, it’s like being hushed to a glassy pause, implored to consider the many skins of the onion, the zing-zang of a peeled orange, then zapped with the catalyst to a carry on regardless.
This is what happens when you ask a poet to write an exhibition briefing.
Privilege and pontification by Michael Pedersen, November 2011.
More about PUNT WG
PUNT WG is a project space near the centre of Amsterdam at the Wilhemina Gasthuis Terrein, where two former hospital buildings are now used as artist studios. In total about 90 artists work - and in some cases live - there, supporting the project and using the space to present installations and exhibitions.
Anet van de Elzen, Curator, says “Since November 2009 Punt WG has had a full programme and played host to a vivid and diverse group of artists as well as guest artists.”
See a short interview + film by Theo Van Kampen in Amsterdam.