TWILIGHT (OF THE IDOLS)
The Oxford English dictionary defines the word “twilight’ as: “Light diffused by reflection of the sun’s rays between daybreak and sunrise or sunset and dark…faint light; (fig.) condition of imperfect knowledge, understanding…”
“…in plain words: the old truth is coming to an end” (Nietzsche in Ecce Homo, 1888).
Following other seminal performances such as Theory of Gravity (2006) and come in peace/go to pieces (2008), Johan Thom once again appropriates from a variety of sources: the title is a clear reference to 'Twilight of the Idols' by Friedrich Nietzsche (1888); the physical action comprises the “clenched fist” associated with so-called leftwing political groups but also, more generally, that of anger, violence and frustration and materials such as ordinary washing detergent and black sump oil. These “materials” are combined to create a ritualistic performance lasting approximately 2 hours in which a group of performers will repeat a series of actions with military precision.
BIND/ONTBIND (SERIES 1)
This video installation – first presented at the 2003 Venice Biennale as part of the exhibition recycling the future: viverevenezia2 – is an extension of a sculptural process in which Thom binds or wraps objects with rope, tape, plastic, etc.
“For me, the work is a metaphor for the constant processes of decay and of regeneration, of affirmation and negation – for example, the way various identities and ideologies bind themselves to us. They may disfigure us but whenever we attempt to replace them with new systems of thought we are in fact simply disfiguring ourselves anew: this is the void – our inability to exist without disfiguring ourselves and others through our limiting gaze. What will we place inside this void once it becomes patently evident? How could we embrace the complete … de-structuring of ourselves and those ideologies that, though horrific in their capacity to disfigure, also protect those things dear to us?
This attempt to defend oneself against the inevitable invasion of the outside is sustained by the illusion that one may come to know something wholly without becoming wholly immersed in it. And to find that despite our best efforts to the contrary, tomorrow will be as yesterday.” - Johan Thom