John von Bergen is a US born artist who has been based in Berlin for the last eight years. His studio, a large space in Wedding, is a true working space – John works primarily with sculpture and installation, and his material experiments, works-in-progress, and many completed works are installed around the walls.
Everything is installed in such a way that it was virtually impossible to tell where the wall ended and the sculpture began. Protruding out, the work appears as a fantastical extension of the wall reaching out into the room. For his show at the project space Smack Mellon last year, John took this strategy to an extreme – creating a 45 foot (15 meter) large-scale, site-specific work that appeared to emerge from the walls of the gallery itself. The piece, Whip Lash, appeared to involve a large metallic pillar (cast from an actual pillar in the gallery) being supported mid-air by two huge wall ‘protrusions.’ The usually neutral and austere white wall of the space was transformed into an almost antagonistic force – one defying physics, logic and reality.