I’m not interested in Peruvian artist Daniel Jacoby just because his most recent solo exhibition, which opened last December at 1646 in the Hague, had one of the longest, coolest and most poetic titles I’ve come across: A Mount-Rushmore-Resembling Piece of Cheddar Cheese Melted to a Perfectly Flat Squared Slice. I’m also interested in his works because they seem to be a genuine breath of fresh air within the walls of institutions that currently favour a heavy and rigorous documentary context.
Jacoby, on the contrary (and bravely), likes to tell stories in his own way, particularly via the use of elastic and ephemeral forms. His most recent towel sculptures, together with his previous ‘metanarrative’ installations (which can be described as ‘smoking glasses of Coke floating together on carpets with a set of sticks of a ball-builder game’), bear witness to the process of their creation. Viewers are invited to take a joyride in the studiolike brain of Jacoby, which can sometimes feel like ascending an M.C. Escher staircase.
You do have to work to dig your way into Jacoby’s works, of course, but you don’t fear feeling stupid along the way. Jacoby makes you lament and think, but without using upfront didacticism: looking at his works is more like listening to poems. The structure of his work reflects and incorporates new short ways of communication, alonside enigmatic works that focus on misspellings and the reading and interpreting of signs, such as the neons signs of Casino Luxembourg, with which he tampered as part of a project that began at the institution in January of last year and (with the help of a series of collaborators – a photographer, a graphic designer, a composer, a writer and a 3D designer) involved creating an imaginary, fictional Luxembourg. Jacoby is still experimenting, and fortunately he is not yet coherent and calculable enough to become too grey and conformist. You might miss something big by not following the path of the Peruvian artist, now residing in Frankfurt after an impressive career start in Barcelona.
This article was originally published in the March 2013 issue.