condenCITY_108 Cities of Nowhere

From Gangwon Environmental Artist Exhibition/ 
'Nowhere City Gangwon' Jan Koechermann 2013

I met an Artist recently who reminded me much of an Architect- or one having an Architects mindful craft in approach- but really, Jan Köchermann is an Artist who builds.  And builds intelligently well he does at that. During the recent month of August, the Gangwon-do International Artists Environmental Exhibition took place in rural Gangwon province. The exhibition brought together 37 artists from 5 countries. The work was carried out of a period of 6 days and culminated in a region wide event and  opening upon installation completion. 

Working revelations

Our journeys always carry us someplace, and in this we bring our personal memories, recollections and experiences of past places and honed preconceptions. Jan Köchermann recasts these experiences in sharp and distinctive contrast alongside the here and now. Place finding can be a matter of pre-planned choice- as our preconceived notions lead us- but chance can be just as rewarding. 

Jan Köchermann's approach presents conflicting perspectives. Familiar architectural forms are set against pastoral scenes. Colorful interruptions and precariously suspended materials are pause for contemplation. Taking sides we find thoughtful distinctions between front and back, arranged against the contradictory terms of polar environments. History is suspended and we may recognize that placeless-ness has become the familiar expectation today.  Truth is, we often seek it in our common, everyday lives.

To do is to contemplate

Hands-on working is primary for Jan. Through the actions of craft and execution, his work negotiates possibilities in discovering place, apparently- at least on this occasion- a willingness to be flexible in siting. Nearing completion, creative process renders decisive clarity of architectural model placement and in an outcome which deviates from initial intentions.

Caught in our individual dislocations, the result is beautifully disparate in response to being local, even as we are so far removed from our personal roots.