Jonathan Monk – Ocean Wave

11 December 2004 – 20 February 2005
Opening: Friday, 10 December, 7.30 p.m.

Welcoming speech: Waltraut Steimke, executive director
Introduction: Susanne Pfeffer, artistic director

"I just thought I‘d stop off for a beer." Richard Serra

The idea of shooting a Beck's beer clip in Bremen seems as absurd an enterprise as that of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a one-man sailing boat. In 1975 the Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader actually set out from the eastern coast of the USA in the direction of England in his small sailing boat, Ocean Wave; he has not been seen since. For his new work, artist Jonathan Monk sent out a Thai and a German as location scouts in search of a location in Bremen and Bremerhaven for a Beck's beer clip. On the basis of the photographs they took, Monk then made five 16mm films. Instead of the exotic lands and the boundless seas with which Beck's ads usually draw viewers' attention, Monk chose everyday places in Bremen, thus contrasting the city with the wide ocean and the emphatically heroic self-understanding of the artist Bas Jan Ader with beer drinking as a domesticated form of intoxication. Monk makes a working principle out of the myth of the disappearing artist.

Jonathan Monk was born in 1969 in Leicester, and studied at the Glasgow School of Arts from 1988-91. He has been living and working in Berlin since 1999.

An artist's book by Jonathan Monk will be published on the occasion of the exhibition by Revolver.


19 January 2005, 7.30 p.m. Lost Weekend Film evening
2 February 2005, 7.30 p.m. Form und Inhalt bei Jonathan Monk Lecture by Yilmaz Dziewior, Director Hamburger Kunstverein
16 February 2005, 7.30 p.m. Wahlverwandtschaften: Adaption als künstlerische Methode bei Jonathan Monk Lecture by Dr. Ursula Anna Frohne, International University Bremen