PHILIP POCOCK and WALTER DAHN - Growing Up and
Jörn Bötnagel Projects - Limbergerstr. 22 (at Friesenplatz) Cologne
28. April - 25. May 1995.
A musician, a writer and two artists, in
the persons of Walter Dahn an dPhilip Pocock have composed a new series
of WORD PAINTINGS on canvas and paper, opening as Jörn Bötnagel's first
project at Limbergerstr 22 at 8:00PM on 28. April running until 25. May.
Video and film footage, as well as a sculpture The House of the Blues
are on view in this collaborative installation Growing Up and Coming
PAINTED LYRICS and song titles in black and
white and color by this German - Canadian duo, at times scratched out, corrected
and over-painted conceive an historical reading and improvise a visual celebration
of Delphic early Blues and Gospel crossover into Rock and Roll and Country
and Western music.
Philip Pocock and Walter Dahn's journey along
a 'lost highway' back over dirt roads and past clapboard shacks to Sun Studio,
the Grand Ol' Opry and Gilley's Bar re-explores territory covered earlier
by Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, this time, however, with EYES
AND EARS wide open, looking and listening to the on-going struggle
for ethnographic harmony that charts the twists and turns in American popular
culture and the Civil Rights Movement from 1956 - 1972. The sounds of the
Mississippi Delta inspired a rainbow-colored legion of musicians, whose
change-ups echo effectively in the words of Dr. King, marching his message
to the gates of reality.
Conceiving and interpreting in color and
line the SOUND AND WORDS of legendary musicians, among them Robert Johnson,
Memphis Ma' Rainey, Blind Lemmon Jefferson, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie Rich,
Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Brain Wilson and James Talley, Walter Dahn
and Philip Pocock combine their sense with the indigenous iconography of
hadwritten signs in public places across the American South. The resulting
WORD PAINTINGS like few beffore them, heal with their own 'Mojo Medicine'
that contemporary and widening fracture between reading and loooking. We
once again have that rare chance in contemporary art to crossover from the
emotional to the conceptual, to LOOK, LISTEN AND READ all at once, to blend
so-called 'high' and 'low' culture, to form a coalition of contemporary
thinking and feeling.
One hand-written sign legible in an old FSA photograph reads: "There
aint' no PLACE just like this PLACE anywhere near this PLACE so this must
be the PLACE!" To look at those words, their slanting scrawl, self-confident
marks, loops, dots and crosses, underlines the written words with a dialect
of the hand. Just imagine what a difference it would have made had Sam Phillips
with Elvis Presley of Roy Orbison written out BY HAND song titles and production
notes right on the sleeves of the original Sun recordings! About as close
as one may get today is to go for a drive along Highway 61 or perhaps to
look, listen and read Growing Up and Coming Down.