Jochen Dehn

Bowling Ball Beach II
March 24 – April 16, 2016

With the installation Bowling Ball Beach II, Jochen Dehn is guest artist in the Corner Space of Galerie Thomas Schulte already for the second time. Raw material for the installation is a large elm tree. Each time the tree is installed the artist reassembles it into a new sculptural form adapted to the surrounding space.

The artist has been drawn to that specific kind of tree because of his interest in the concept of concretion. While in sculpture concretion describes a cerebral, non-referential form, the etymology of the term derives from Latin concrescere ‘grow together’. The trunk of Dehn’s tree is an elm, which has been grafted with the branches of another tree, a so-called Scots elm. As a common practice in horticulture, concretion describes the plant’s ability to amalgamate a separate branch and incorporate it as living part of its own organism. Jochen Dehn with his sculptural gesture mimics this natural phenomenon. In the installation the artist’s systematic dissections remain clearly visible and contrast with the natural, complex, and eccentrically curved shape of the tree.

Referring to a third meaning of the term concretion, Dehn in the title for the installation references another natural phenomenon. In California, a certain landscape which is part of Schooner Gulch State Beach in Mendocino County, has become named Bowling Ball Beach after the spherical sandstone concretions, which can be found there standing in the water. The hundreds of rocks, which are strangely uniform in size and shape, appear to have gathered together like an army of small boulders defying the tides. The explanation however is simple enough and geological in nature: The hard spheres are composed of materials, which are more resilient than the surrounding mudstone, which over millions of years has eroded away under the constant onslaught of the Pacific Ocean, thus leaving the rocks behind, evenly spaced like in an intricately designed art installation.

The exhibition was realised in collaboration with Aanant & Zoo.