Critics’ Picks

  • Jan Vorisek, Devotion Strategy, 2020, oxford polyester, blower, stools, metal, glass table, lamp, assemblage, dimensions variable.

    Jan Vorisek, Devotion Strategy, 2020, oxford polyester, blower, stools, metal, glass table, lamp, assemblage, dimensions variable.

    Jan Vorisek

    Kunsthaus Glarus
    Im Volksgarten Postfach 665
    March 15–August 23, 2020

    Jan Vorisek often mobilizes the aesthetics of his work as a DJ and promoter in his performances and static ouptut. In this exhibition, “Collapse Poem,” the artist offers zones of security and release with dual room-filling installations that are related like the techno cousins Berghain and Lab.Oratory. Devotion Strategy (all works cited, 2020) is a slick black inflatable labyrinth that fills the ground-floor gallery. The tight corridors and thick smell of plasticized barriers elicit both fear and a desire for an undistanced encounter. A rear resection in this fetish bouncy castle reveals Exercise in Isolation, an embedded first-person shooter–style video that offers viewers a seamless entryway into an impossible maze of back alleys, tunnels, and subway cars.

    Upstairs, Memory Hotel is a more capacious arena, bathed in filtered red light and constructed from easily transgressed, low stacks of pale-orange construction bricks arranged to mimic cityscapes, seating, and the implied codes of built society. Flickerings of global urban reality appear in Palinopsia, a video washing the room in dense electronic tracks. Its titular hallucinatory effect is illustrated in the vibrant beckoning of The Man with the Laughing Hand is Dead, a green bulb housed in a hanging iron light fixture. Sculptured out of wood from a mini-arboretum, it is the only defined space with a roof in the show, but still it lacks a floor.

    Vorisek’s main concern throughout is the delineation of space, and the anxiety and satisfaction it can arouse. In the title of the exhibition, Vorisek suggests a desire to bridge the sensations and motifs of temporalities and various imagined locations. The elemental transitions in lighting, sound, and the structures associated with nocturnal pleasure infuse these typically sun-drenched mid-century galleries with an erotics and fervency. With his kinesthetic formulation of interiors, Vorisek stages the ways in which activities on the fringe maintain their architecture, physically and psychologically, when emptied during the day. And, until recently, longer than that.