Christian Jankowski

Berlin, 2016

I am faced with a double portrait.
A portrait of a portrait.
An artist portrait of an artist portrait.

On the one hand, it is a courtesy to somebody who influenced you… a means of orientation in becoming aware of yourself and the world.

Jankowski’s practice brings out multiple layers, processes and materialities.
There is a strange weightlessness found there.

In another way, there is never a ‘one’ in his works. Singularity is overtaken by communality.

His works become cartographies of bodies, spaces and temporalities. The multitude of the body in his works becomes a soft, political artistic gesture. 

Hey, honey*, I’ll sing for little money in the Palace of the Republic, if you let me.
Thumbs into the wind
Thumbs up in the artist portrait
All’s OK.

Depart. Take the plunge. Allow yourself to be seduced one day. Become many, brave the outside world, split off somewhere else.

I will never again know what I am, where I am, where I’m from, where I’m going, where to pass through.

Just get rid of your junk weapons!

We took it easy and stood in line
For the rollercoaster that is this world

The double portrait, shot in Christian’s studio, deepens nodes of ramifications that are ever-present in his artworks… fields of knowledge, humor, simple gestures, existential questions, abstractions, collision of perspectives, absurdity, playfulness, the immanence of possibilities and much more.

In my Wikipedia description, it appears that I moved to Hamburg because I was such a fan of Lindenberg, and although it’s not entirely true, there is still something true about it.

But here, Christian embodies Udo and Udo embodies him. It gets more tangible, more visible.

He has many songs about professions and how professions have entrances to different worlds.
So it’s a protection field like all icons are.

And yet, Jankowski brings audiences, practitioners and entities to participate, to perform and to affect his, and their, nascent works.

Contingency is the concomitant expression of possibilities and no possibility at all – anything can happen, but equally, nothing might ever happen; it is the simultaneous suspense of infinite likelihoods and inexplicable frozenness.

Text written by Cristina Vasilescu including excerpts from an interview with Christian Jankowski, Udo Lindenberg’s lyrics, Michel Serres’ The Troubadour of Knowledge and Reza Negarestani’s Contingency and Complicity.

*Lindenberg’s wordplay on Erich Honecker, General Secretary of the SED