press release

The Institut d’art contemporain has invited Joachim Koester for his first large monographic exhibition. Born in 1962 in Copenhagen (Denmark), Joachim Koester lives and works in Copenhagen and New York.

Joachim Koester participated in Documenta 10 in Kassel (1997) and in the Venice Biennial (2005). He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. Recent monographic exhibitions were held at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2010), Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover(2010), Turker Art Museum, Finland (2009) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007).

The exhibition at the Institute assembles a large set of existing works and new works, consisting mainly of films and photographs. Joachim Koester has designed the exhibition like a pathway through a maze that fills all the space available and that forms a work in itself. The artist’s approach falls partially within the scope of the IAC’s ‘Laboratoire espace cerveau’ (Laboratory space brain)*.

Drawing on both the documentary and fiction, Joachim Koester’s work re-examines and reactivates certain forms from the past while paying attention to the questions of conscience and the fading of the senses. In a cinematographic spirit, he develops a recurrent principle of image editing to grasp a collective memory and perform both mental and geographic exploration.

In this permanent investigation of the test of time and of erasure, Joachim Koester draws on the duality of the scientific relationship with the real and sensitive experience. Thus the representation as photos or film of places full of history and then deserted to which he turns often accomplishes this voluntary abolition of the frontiers between rationality and empiricism.

Joachim Koester’s ‘ghost-hunting ‘ in his works aimed at bringing back forgotten persons or places, is often related to occultism or rituals experimenting with new perceptions.

This brings to mind Henri Michaux’s drawings under mescaline, Carlos Castaneda’s shamanistic research, venues for black magic or outlaw communities or ‘psychogeography’ areas.

Joachim Koester
Of spirits and empty spaces