Swiss Cultural Fund UK

Swiss Cultural Fund UK

Existere by JocJonJosch at Testbed 1_ July

In July Testbed1 in Battersea, the former dairy warehouse turned art space, hosted three performances by the acclaimed artists’ collective JocJonJosch. The trio consists of Joc Marchington and the two London-based Swiss artists Joschi Herczeg and Jonathan Brantschen. The collective has exhibited and performed at several London galleries including the Institute of Contemporary Art. They were selected for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2010 and have established themselves in both the Swiss and UK art scenes. JocJonJosch’s interest lies with the unknown and intangible fears that exist outside our protective structures. Querying the purpose of containment, they question what this is and what might happen when such anxieties are released. These concerns are of topical significance in view of the recent tragedies in Japan and New Zealand. To reflect upon these ideas JocJonJosch created a human sculpture, a shelter for humans by humans titled Existere. The performance involved 110 nude participants holding the shelter together in an endured embrace, before inevitably breaking apart, pausing and reforming. In doing so they aimed to restore ideas such as the ‘unknown’ and ‘containment’ within a framework of human existence, generating palpability from what is typically intangible. Existere is both a retreat from and an extension of existing work: drawing the emphasis further inward toward oneself, at the same time as outwardly observing the symptoms of existential struggle as both a collective and individual experience.