press release

Martos Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Jan Kopp's The Missing Image January 31 from 6 to 8 pm.

Amphitheater derives its name from the Greek amphi-, "double," and theasthai, "to watch or look at." It is a place, circular in form, constructed to watch spectacle and sport, and can be differentiated from its Greek sibling, the theater, which is a half circle. The descending concentric circles look on at the action from all points of view, surrounding the performer, privileging no one point of view.

There are several naturally occurring amphitheaters, built by wind and erosion on rock, throughout the world. These forms have been used as stadiums for performance, but they stand apart, valued for their miraculous and perfect form.

A parabola is a locus of points on a given plane, which are equidistant from the focus and a given line. It is a referent to an original source rendered in eternal curvilinear form. The three dimensional expression of a parabola, a paraboloid, was first used by Archimedes in the 3rd century B.C. as a weapon of war, concentrating the sun's rays on a particular point, giving them the ability to set fire to objects from great distances.

For Martos Gallery, Jan Kopp presents a multivalent exhibition in sculpture, photo and video.

In Jan Kopp's sculpture, one is confronted first and foremost with this form, the parabola. The pure geometric form, mysterious and mystical in mathematics, throws our minds back to its two closest relations: amphitheater and satellite dish. Both words denote a place that is a site of transmission. What then is the content of transmission? Does its multivalent form allow us any definitive interpretation, or is exegesis the point here? The word parabola itself means derivation. The straight line that is a reference point is somehow omnipresent and yet beyond words, silent as a cipher.

Ciphers are also the point of interest in his video work. These three videos take a gesture, or a dance movement and render it finite yet cyclical by reversal and replaying it until the motion is drained of its context.

In his photographs, Jan Kopp pulls us into a pataphysical world, Alfred Jarry's word for the poetic and unstable world of referents and pointers unhinged from reality. The polysemous and modular nature of his images constantly remind us of Wittgenstein's famous remark that from the Tractatus Philosophicus, that "the form is the possibility of the structure." One is constantly confronted by both the familiarity of these structures, while at the same time being baffled as to the true nature of these objects.

Kopp's forms point at various structures, considering a poetic truth that escapes rigid factual denomination. In reference to Wittgenstein's famous remark at the end of the Tractatus, "Whereof one cannot speak, one must remain silent," one might say that Kopp's work dwells in Wittgenstein's eternal silence.

Samantha Rajasingham

Jan Kopp lives and works in Paris. He has exhibited at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, PS1 in New York, Supernova at Art Basel Miami Beach, the Moscow Biennale, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Guangzhou China, Shedhalle in Zurich, Kunsthalle Tirol in Austria, and the ICC in Tokyo. He has two solo exhibitions planned for the spring of 2008 at the FRAC Alsace and the Centre d'Art Bastille in Grenoble, France.

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Jan Kopp
The Missing Image