Gert Jan Kocken: Organized Complexity

Installation Views
Press release

GRIMM is proud to announce a solo exhibition by Gert Jan Kocken (1971 Ravenstein, NL). The exhibition Organized Complexity combines a selection from the artist’s eminent Depictions series with works from his Fission series.

The exhibition will open during UNSEEN Photo Festival’s Open Gallery Night and is programmed to coincide with the commemoration of the Second World War, which started eighty years ago this year. Organized Complexity is the first exhibition by the artist with the gallery.

For almost a decade, Gert Jan Kocken has been working on his Depictions series; in this body of work hundreds of unearthed historical maps are used as source material to create expansive views of cities such as London, Amsterdam, Dresden, Rotterdam, Łódz, Warsaw, Berlin, Munich and Rome. The maps are scanned or photographed and methodically layered into a single digital image, subsequently rendered as a large digital C-print. The resulting compositions contain a welter of information representing the breakneck change, contradictory claims, and massive data production of the Second World War.

The photographs visualize the conflicting ideologies which prevailed during the Second World War, the cities representing axes of fascism from East to West and from North to South. In Fission, the artist meticulously traces the origins of the nuclear program leading up to the bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki through the use of texts, photographs of speeches, classified military documents and images. The resulting work is an entropic conjunction which must be both seen, and read, to fully grasp. Accompanying this work is a large photograph, Charles Sweeney, Pilot, B 29 Bock’s Car, Nagasaki, 9 August 1945.

Rounding out the exhibition is Kocken’s latest work; a palimpsest of German aerial photographs showing London bombing targets with text superimposed on the photographs to form a visualisation of the propaganda machine and the chronological course of the war.

Opening: Saturday September 21st, 2019 from 6pm until 8pm