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“Jan De Cock Provokes a Stretching of the Eye”
Jan De Cock Exhibit
MoMA
January 23- April 14, 2008

Written by Mindy Hyman
Photos Courtesy of MoMA




Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008, Module CDXLVII
Installation view The Museum of Modern Art, New York
© Photo Atelier Jan De Cock
Courtesy Galerie Fons We lters and Luis Campaña Gallery

Belgian photographer Jan De Cock’s Denkmal 11 is currently on display at the Museum Of Modern Art in Manhattan. The exhibit beckons its audience to stretch our imagination and us physically, to view art in a new perspective. Denkmal literally translates as both “monument” in German and “a molding of one’s thoughts” in Belgian. The number 11 stands for the address of the MOMA and the piece itself; it is a tribute and it is an exploration of the act of creating art out of a museum of art. The artist photographed images of the architecture, the collection and the rooms within the building of the MOMA. These then became the framework of De Cock's own installation at the MOMA. The exhibit is a collection of images of images.


Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008, Module CDLIX
Installation view The Museum of Modern Art, New York
© Photo Atelier Jan De Cock
Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters and Luis Campaña Gallery

De Cock utilizes mechanisms such as inserting several one-inch-sized photos into a large, framed, blank picture generating the idea of a puzzle that needs to be pieced together by the viewer. He also juxtaposes two photographs of the same image taken at differing angles so that the viewer cannot quite tell if the landscape is the same or is merely a look-alike. Indeed, it seems as if, as viewers of art and of life, we must pay particular attention to detail in order to see the real picture. This paralleling of art also brings forth such notions of trusting one’s own eyes, questioning the intent of the photographer and wondering, “What is art?”

Due to the physical placement of pieces of art within the installation, the spectators are forced, or asked, to bend at the hip, rise on our toes and stretch out our necks in order to see all of the art. As we stretch our bodies to view his art, we are simultaneously stretching our mind’s eye. Through the necessity of movement on the part of the spectator, Jan De Cock’s exhibit positions the viewer to explore new ways of looking at modern art.


Temps Mort XII. Long Island, May 2007,
‘Lands’ End’ on Browns River Road, Sayville. Neg. 063
Chromogenic color print, 22.4 x 15.7 inches (57 x 40 cm)
© Photo Atelier Jan De Cock
Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters and Luis Campaña Gallery


Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008.
Diptych 9, Module CCCXXII, Module CCCXXIII
Chromogenic color prints, each 52.4 x 31 in. (133 x 79 cm)
© Photo Atelier Jan De Cock
Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters and Luis Campaña Gallery



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