24 June—12 August 2017

Katinka Bock


Mercer Union is delighted to present the first solo exhibition by Paris-based artist Katinka Bock in Canada. Opening Reception featuring a performance by Aisha Sasha John will take place Saturday 24 June 2017, 6PM.

_o_o__o, titled in reference to Toronto, is a new body of work including Super 8 film, photographs, architectural and site interventions, and sculptural works. The gallery itself plays multiple roles: a multi-historical character with previous identities and forms, and a site among neighbouring multi-ethnic and purposed spaces. Architectural interventions reference two previous identities: the Academy cinema in the 1960s and a dollar store in the 1980s, on the site of what is currently Mercer Union.

The exhibition includes a gift exchange of Bock’s fired ceramic sculptures for objects from neighbouring shops as a continuation of Zarba Lonsa, a project begun at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in 2015. This activates the artist’s role as a visitor to the gallery and the neighbourhood. By engaging with local shopkeepers from outside the gallery, the exchange makes their agency visible within it, questioning object-value systems and the physical structures maintaining them. This intimate and incisive exploration of location, origin, material and process reveals poetic dimensions of space, mining the territories of history and archaeology.


Katinka Bock (Paris- based, German born, 1976) creates sculptures and installations that explore temporality and space using clay, natural and found materials, and more recently bronze. She creates a continuous movement between outdoor and indoor spaces, often dealing with natural alteration processes, or filming the disappearance of sculptural elements. Bock studied at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin and at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts of Lyon. She was an artist-in residence at Villa Medici in Rome, and was awarded the Dorothea von Stetten Kunstpreis in Germany, the Prix Ricard in France and the production prize of Fundacion Botin in Spain. Select solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, MAMCO, Geneva; and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. Upcoming solo projects include Kunstmuseum Winthertur, Mudam Luxembourg, IAC Villeurbanne, Siobhan Davies Studio in London and Common Guild in Glasgow.

Aisha Sasha John is a dancer and poet. Her solo performance the aisha of oz premiered at the Whitney Museum in New York in June 2017, with another iteration at the MAI in Montreal in April 2018. I have to live. (McClelland and Stewart 2017) is her third collection of poems. Previous collection THOU (BookThug 2014) was finalist for both the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the ReLit Poetry Award. Aisha’s video work and text art have been exhibited in galleries (Doris McCarthy, Oakville Galleries) and was commissioned by Art Metropole as part of a public art performance residency Let’s understand what it means to be here (together). Aisha has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and a B.A. in African Studies and Semiotics from the University of Toronto. She was born in Montreal.

_o_o__o is presented with the support of the Institut Français in Paris and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Canada. Additional thanks for support from Galerie Jocelyn Wolff in Paris.