Jonas Kamm: The Inhabitants

Les Rencontres d’Arles 2021
Louis Roederer Discovery Award
Église des Frères Prêcheurs, July 4 through August 29, 2021
Curated by Sonia Voss

Jonas Kamm: »The Inhabitants«, presented by Folkwang University of the Arts

Jonas participated with two different series. First, his series »The Inhabitants«, the result of a hybrid production process, at the crossroads of architecture, sculpture, and photography. These images—two-dimensional renderings drawn from 3D virtual space—initially take shape in a space modeled by the artist with the aid of computer software. Kamm then, using virtual tools, sculpts figures based on a texture that he has previously »harvested« with the camera from his physical environment. Once the figures have been shaped, the software—simulating the tools of photography—permits the artist to choose an angle and to adjust, from a practically unlimited spectrum of possibilities, his light sources, his focus, his aperture, etc. Kamm’s figures, vaguely anthropomorphic, appear as intermediaries between the real and immaterial worlds. The reductive character, the unclassifiable nature of these images turns them into vectors of inchoate narratives, carriers of a potential meaning which has yet to be defined and which remains mysterious, opening a void that we are invited to fill.

Furthermore, Jonas showed the first parts of a new series which is currently in progress: »Parametric Archeology«. It takes off from the purely economic goal of creating a small program that helps to generate shapes in an automated and efficient way. A freely chosen form runs through various modifiable parameters and multiplies itself in various slightly modified forms. After having been selected by the artist, the resulting output presents itself as if being arranged on an examination table. Forms and arrangement play with the concepts of the archive or the archaeological excavation, yet they merely refer to digital inputs and processes. In Jonas’ words: »This rather absurd play with something we are supposed to know, but what, in fact, escapes our understanding, is fun for me.«