TRUTH IS ELUSIVE
13th May - 18th June 2016
Looking at the relation between art and reality, representation and analogy, John Jakobsson constructs a possible universe: imaginary beings, that mirror known ones, are secluded from their universe in the neon light of the gallery space. The artworks in the series “Bastard imaginary beings” perform a new scenario that is activated by belief and interpretation. Just like reality itself.
Using familiar shapes and materials, the artist raises in his sculptural work questions on what is truth. Jakobsson is interested in the mechanisms of confirmation bias, in the perception of facts and beings, in the processes for decoding environment, personal and collective realities.
His questions come in a time when access to information is, in theory, unlimited, but the selection and search criteria are still personal.
The way we understand the world is highly selective, the collection of data is driven by existing subjective knowledge and any facts can be confirmed by searching in the right direction. Validation of one’s reality is simpler with the existence of a multitude of sources and science itself has different opinions on how to prove the state of things.
Interested in cryptozoology, that studies creatures which exist in folklore and whose existence has not been scientifically proven, Jakobsson creates an alternative to a consensus reality, providing “proofs” for imagination and creating tools for understanding the elasticity and elusiveness of the personal truth.
The previous extended project of the artist, “Den Vidrige” (The Disgusting), on view in the showroom, is a departure point for the current series on display at NAU Gallery, testing with the aesthetics and the imagery that is considered “repulsive” or unwelcome information. In the ”Bastard Imaginary Beings” series Jakobsson experiments extendedly with materials, applying unusual techniques for creating a new narrative and a new possible reality.
The relation between art and reality was a large topic for investigation in philosophy, departing from Plato, who excluded the art from his ideal Republic, due to its considered inferiority to reality. The concept of truth was as debated. In his work, Jakobsson reflects on the current transformations of these terms.
There are beings in this world that exist only in the minds of the ones who believe in them. The ones who claim they saw them, heard them coming or knew about them from stories. These stories are pseudosciences and folklore. Beliefs that don’t fit into our notion of truth. They ́re outdated. They ́re Unreal. Yet, the level of “weirdness” in nature often exceeds fantasy anyway. So to me they become the same.
The creatures and beings in the exhibition deal with this idea. They are the result of biology and zoology run amok. Not fitting into laws of nature, they still claim their right to belong in this world. What’s real has more to do with what ́s going on on the inside. The levels of comprehension at play when you interpret the world are transmuted into beliefs that trigger emotions. The rest are just facts.
John Jakobsson, May 2016
John Jakobsson (b.1984, Gotland) is interested in the process of constructing personal and collective realities and investigates, through his sculptural work, the mechanism of the “possible” and the “true”. Jakobsson took his BA in Konstfack, in the Ceramics and Glass department (2012), and has previously studied art history at Gothenburg University and sculpture at Gotland Art School. His work has been presented in group shows at, among others, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, AAAD Prague, and in solo shows at Kaleido gallery in Uppsala, SL exhibition platform and Almedal’s Library in Visby. Jakobsson is the receiver of the KKV Burgsviks workshop grant (2007) and the Estrid Ericsson stipendium (2011).