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Johannes Bosisio

Souls from Objects from Souls from Objects from Souls

19/11 -  15/12/2022

Installation View, Courtesy of Johannes Bosisio and ZÉRUÌ
Installation View IV, Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
Exhibition overview, courtesy of Johannes Bosisio and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
Installation View III, Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg

Objectophilia: A Biopsy of Material Desire


Since the inception of computing, references to the human brain have been used to analogise the core elements of technological machines. Starting as simple metaphors to make advances accessible to the non-technological, neuroscience is now a core touchpoint within the progression of information technology, machine learning and AI. And whilst this blurring between human physicality and machine object has become everyday, less so is an extrapolation of this of corporal comparison to our anatomy from the head down. It’s accepted that machines may have brains, but subversive to consider whether they might have flesh. 


In Johannes Bosisio’s work, the limbs and organs of mechanical entities lay exposed - sexualized still lifes of the otherwise mundane. His work veers toward the taboo and pushes the boundaries of what it means to engage tactilely with the very devices we create. In works such as In the Flash, we are presented with the details of larger machines. In this case, the eye-like headlight of a car glints, surrounded by shimmering metallic surfaces. Perspective averts the gaze of the light and we are able to stare at the body of this machine close up without it staring back at us. It is somehow both personal yet anonymous, like a one night stand. In Icon, a similar proximity is afforded but to what exactly is unknown. A vividly coloured extremity, somewhere between a hand and tentacles conjures a concurrent sense of familiarity and alienation. Both paintings are laden with eroticism and intimacy and their framing allows us to inspect these machines almost haptically, as we’re lured into a state of visual dissection.    


This object closeness continues in Bosisio’s Microseries, as ambiguous forms are imbued with a sense of hedonism. There is a sense of fascination, even scientific obsession, as obscured surfaces - presumably details of larger articles - glisten against dark and starry backdrops and solid surfaces seem in places smattered with fluids and motion. As if each painting were a microscope slide, there is an active sense of Bosisio as an artist crafting focus on what excites him. Isolated from their greater form, this series presents itself as a collection of kinks; a visual infatuation with the anatomies of things. 


In the Shapeshifter series, exposed again to vivid and energised surfaces, we are simultaneously confronted by the question of whether the objects themselves are shapeshifting, or whether, in fact it is our relationship to the material that is transformed via their presentation. Encapsulating dualities such as the human and the manmade, there’s an implicit tension between the objects themselves and our relationships to them. In this way, Bosisio goes further than to manipulate perspectives of form; he metamorphosizes our essential connection to the seemingly inanimate. By doing so, he forms a fetishized ménage à trois between the artist, the machine and the viewer, thus relegating the distinction between subject and object as benign and bridging the gap between both man and machine, and artist and viewer via a perverse triangulation. 


Just as Bosisio performs biopsies on physical materials, we are also able to anatomize our own looking relation. In both Flaeneur and Voyeur, we are subjected to interrogate our own gaze, as both works portray images in which the eyes of the objects - this time more human-like in form - both stare at or analyse us whilst also being obfuscated from clear view. As viewers, we are forced into power dynamic dripping in contradiction, in which we subjugate whilst being objectified. By denying the establishment of eye-to-eye connection, we become jarringly aware of how we ourselves are simply physical in form and can be visually devoured. 


The title of Bosisio’s exhibition, Souls from Objects from Souls from Objects From Souls, speaks tenderly to the ontological strain between the material and immaterial. Object in a Fossilised State encapsulates this powerfully, even violently; a sculptural piece composed of jagged mirror, mounted to be affronting, it disrupts and disperses our ability to discern between the view of the object and a view of ourselves. Within its reflective, animalistic form, we see vignettes of man, just as Bosisio captures vignettes of objects in Microseries; reciprocating the physical encounter between us and them.    


Marc James Gough [b.1991, Wales] is a San Francisco based graduate of MA German Literature & Visual Culture from the University of Aberdeen, and currently works at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence.

Voyeur, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
Side View, Voyeur, Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
Icon, 2022, Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
In The Flash, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
Shapshifter big.png
Exhibition overview, courtesy of Johannes Bosisio and ZÉRUÌ.jpg
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