Joachim Koester – Things that SHINE and THINGS that are DARK
Things that SHINE and THINGS that are DARK at Beirut Art Center is a solo exhibition from Joachim Koester that is designed as a journey into the movement of images, architectural modifications, and color and shade alternations. The usual circulation within the building will be deliberately disrupted.
Joachim Koester’s body of work explores both physical and inner spaces. His interest in these two realms leads him to associate the vocabularies of documentary and the imaginary, to connect geographical and anthropological research, as well as personal experiences and common practices. Koester explores the traces that narratives, beliefs or history inscribe in our nervous and muscular systems, which he reanimates by using different movement practices. By attempting to unearth remnants of past events without resorting to explanation or rationality, Koester accumulated a sort of archive of the body in movement over the years.
A process that feeds into his kinetic and choreographic research and results in a performative, figurative and analytical work. With Joachim Koester, exhibition spaces turn into living spaces — an intimate life that is often hidden. In his work, performers and spectators’ bodies confront situations and questions that surpass language. The bodies are at once receptacles, factors of invisibility and inscription, and transmitters. Koester transforms them into an enigma and a possible space of exchange.
Joachim Koester’s exhibition in Beirut was inspired by the artist’s ability to articulate spirituality with languages and manifestations of the body, as well as with forms of representations and the notion of visibility. These questions are particularly crucial in Lebanon where religions affix unyielding frames to political and social life and where fables of identity take precedence over the mystical dimension. The exhibition aims to evoke a different distribution of these forces and proposes an experience of it. Koester draws from diverse references such as dance, cinema, vernacular and ritualistic practices, but also healing and trance-inducing techniques. The scope of these references paved the way to a range of perspectives that have marked the art world for twenty years. From spatial practices initiated by Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowsky in the 1960s (Maybe One Must Begin WIth Some Particular Place, 2012) to proto-feminist experiments of inventing machines through trance and movement (Of Spirits and Empty Spaces, 2012), Koester’s works bring together unforeseen worlds and ideas.