Words – Kerry Hassler

Photos – Andrea Pek –  Stink Berlin


“Just keep going, full speed ahead!” These are words of advice from Jay Gard, whom is perpetually pushing his own work forward. Always bigger, better, faster, stronger. This past October, his first solo exhibition in Berlin opened at The Sexauer Gallery.

VNDL:  The installation at Sexauer in Berlin is definitely something to be experienced – is it the largest work you’ve made to date?
JG:  I have never built an object this size. You gave the answer: You need to experience it. There is artwork of mine you don’t have to see in real life – it’s enough to hear about it or see a picture. ‘Torbogen’ is up for 3 months in Berlin – and you have to see it – it’s just so important to have your own moment with it; to physically feel its brutality and simultaneously take in the fineness of the forms and details of the arch.


VNDL:  What or who encouraged you to create something on such a large scale?
JG:  To get new ideas for my pictures and objects I usually use all kinds of forms from architecture to tiny electronic parts. Imagining these things enlarged or scaled dow is very often a fountain for new ideas. But then, in my studio I have only a certain spectrum of sizes that I can realize. So, if I have the idea for a 12 meter high sculpture I need to find a way to realize it so it fits through my 80cm wide door and still give the idea that it is 10 times bigger. That’s sometimes a big pain.
Jan-Phillip Sexauer told me about his plans for his new Gallery. I told him about my ideas for ‘Torbogen’ – a 5 meter high sculpture. In April 2013 he offered me the debut exhibition in ‘Sexauer’ – of course I couldn’t say no. That was a big encouragement to use the actual scale of the idea.


VNDL:  Could you speak a bit about how you see the exhibition, specifically the arch, breaking up in December?
JG:  I have the idea that objects can change their look – each view is subjective. Let me explain it like this: a staircase in a house will be recognized differently by someone who is walking up the stairs for the first time and someone who is walking up and down the stairs everyday for the last 10 years. Through experience, memories merge with the look of something. Or, let me explain how it works with another project. Since 2009 I have built record players that follow a similar idea: In that moment you put a record on – the object -the record player changes – it starts living. It becomes an Object that temporarily carries a message – lyrics or a certain mood from a song. In that moment your record player will be different than before.

So with ‘Torbogen’ this is also one of my themes: cut the arch apart at the end of the show in December – the sideboards are sold separately. Its very simple – the sideboards – but they are charged with the history of the show. When you have one at home you will be thinking about the arch when you see it.


VNDL:  How do you consider the audience when making new work? What would you like the viewer to take away from their time at the current exhibition?
JG:  I like using forms, sizes and materials from objects that appear at home. It’s things people see everyday – so I want to use their memories when they see my pictures and objects. In that way you don’t have to be an art historian: when you see an object you can’t identify you will always go through your personal memory catalog to find out what you are looking at. I like that everybody has the chance to connect ‘Torbogen’ to daily life even thought the objects are transformed into the absurd.
And for everyone who saw it I hope that the arc is part of their memory, too. I now hope that I spark a couple of new ideas for others.

VNDL:  What’s next?
JG:  I was pretty busy the last 3 months working nonstop for the show. So next 2 weeks its time to shake some friends’ hands and having a drink here and there. But after that you will find me working in my studio again for the next exhibition in February!



Jay Gard’s exhibition is presently on view at the Sexauer Gallery in Berlin through December 14, 2013.

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