10. 04 – 15.05 2021
With his works, Jordan Madlon demonstrates a rejection of the rectangular form. Since the rectangle is historically associated with the frame, it marks a clear boundary and is thus itself the form of rejection and enclosure. In the exhibition „Glose“, the rectangle is limited to architecture, in which the artist embeds his irregular shapes. His lines are rather driven by a desire for opening and elasticity.
Opening and elasticity are central to Jordan Madlon‘s exhibition, as he enables the irregular shapes to pass through a variety of different qualities. This can be viewed in two exhibited shapes. I call them Ductus (as in „À propos de l’expressivité“) and Hatching (as in „Shablone“). The ductus, on the one hand, signifies the expressive power of brushstrokes, which the artist keeps in check as a motif, rendered by no less expressive pencil lines. Thus the drawn ductus is already an opening. From drawing to painting, from form to architectural format, from the current situation to art history (e.g. Roy Lichtenstein‘s „Brushstroke Paintings“, a kind of gloss on Abstract Expressionism). The hatching, on the other hand, is an essential shape that Aby Warburg would have called a serpentine line. As such it bundles the speed of zigzag with the joy of lurching. In “Glose” Jordan Madlon repeats the hatching at various spots through technical reproduction (stencilling, cutting, etc.) thereby opening shape to space. Consequently, the opening to space transforms the hatching. It is placed on a puckered support, occupies the wall and is three-dimensionally executed in fabric, slumping slightly due to its weight. For “Déplacement(s)”, the artist cut out the hatching shape from a colourful patterned fabric and sewed it with an uneven volume. A constellation, which reminds us of cave paintings: The irregular shape encounters the relief of an irregular ground. This reference captures also the site-specificity of the exhibition. „Glose“ is a self-commentary by the artist as well as a commentary on the spatial premises of goeben. The shape of an oeuvre is placed on the moulded ground of an architecture. „Porte“, for example, follows the lines of the given surroundings, building a wall that one can walk through, and is ultimately a projection surface for the grisaille of a vague memory. Hence, on this surface the artist repeats shapes from his earlier works and those that (like the hatching) can be found elsewhere in the exhibition.
Jordan Madlon endows his shapes with elasticity that provides an opening between solidity and adaptation. They incorporate a tight association of image and material while at the same time being outlined by the fluidity and speed of mind. The exhibited shapes thereby traverse a multitude of different layers: (art) history, language (Deleuze spoke of concepts that are cut to size), the different places of exhibition, their own body of work, the techniques of production and colours of their appearance. This passage through different layers should not be mistaken with the indecision of our current image use. Digital images appear in a wide variety of formats, materials or colours and are accordingly perceived in various ways. The shapes in Jordan Madlon‘s exhibition, however, neither reject external circumstances nor can they be deformed randomly. The artist counters the arbitrariness of current image practice with the thought and form of elasticity. Elasticity includes as much the ability to respond to the actual circumstances as it includes the ability to shape it.
Text by Manuel van der Veen
Photo : Stefan Haehnel