21 November 2017


Bodybuildings "Bodybuildings" (2015) © Jessica Pooch

There is something utterly repelling about having to touch a lost and found hair tie. Old unwashed hair, maybe even a smell, dirty fingers – an object that opposes hygiene on so many levels. The collection of found hair ties began in Berlin during an artist residency at Air Berlin Alexanderplatz – located in one of those grey and dull high-rise buildings – the place where I first met the Zurich-based, German artist Jessica Pooch. Her art touches human instincts: feelings of shame and disgust, of togetherness and intimacy versus publicity. The language of her work – sleek and disturbing at the same time – speaks a formal vocabulary often very close to the aesthetics of design, while it questions basic functions and values that objects and materials are supposed to fulfil or suggest. Public toilets, piercings, artificial fingernails, grab poles are materials that she functions as performative tools, subtly pointing at the viewers' own anticipation of what these materials might stand for and how they make them feel. In our interview Jessica told me what it is that interests her about the concept of intimacy and how she plays with it on many different levels in her art.