In his now seventh solo exhibition at the gallery, Peter K. Koch is showing a selection of recent image-objects and a sculptural-architectural installation developed specifically for the gallery space.
In all of his works, he is searching for a state situated between two clearly definable ones. Accordingly, the works often alternate between two potential readings and can be interpreted in two directions. Solid is fragile, open is closed, negative is positive or maybe fragile is solid, closed is open, positive is negative?
Where something is removed, an empty space is created; one then speaks visually of a positive/negative form. What has been removed becomes a visually defining element. What does not exist physically is made visible. Koch varies this visual principle in his objects, often consisting of manually painted cardboard, by utilizing the surrounding space as a matrix for his negative spaces.
He also employs the principle of addition in the object-like works. In an elaborate hands-on process, he produces identical-looking parts from individual elements in such a way that this manual process individualizes the parts, making them appear absolutely identical only from a distance. On closer inspection, the elements turn out to be delicate and fragile individual parts, which, in being linked to numerous other similar parts, comprise an additive system. If so inclined, you could see these linked and interconnected individual elements as a metaphor for a society that is constituted from the summation of individuals and only appears as a homogeneous body at a distance.
As with his image-objects, Koch also offers optional ways of reading his architectural-sculptural installation that was created especially for the gallery space. Am I inside or outside? Am I on stage or am I observing others from an elevated position? Is that just a hole or is it a window? Where is back, where is front?
Ultimately, the exhibition title also operates according to these principles since oh hell o can be read like an exclamation of dismay along the lines of: Oh, what the hell! Or if choosing to close the phonetic gap between hell and o, then you suddenly read a surprised but positive: Oh, hello! Linking these, you might say that even in hell you can say hello in a friendly way and be positively surprised on occasion.
oh hell o
oh hell no
oh schon hell
Peter K. Koch (b. 1967 in Cologne) studied at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld. After teaching for eight years at the Dresden University of Fine Arts, he has worked as a professor of creative design at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Berlin from 2015 to 2020. The artist lives and works in Berlin.