Jeroen Jacobs’ Industrial Revolution

After an unremarkable U-Bahn journey, followed by an unremarkable walk down a generic street to a generic facade, I was very pleased to find the JJ exhibition inside the Sommer&Kohl gallery anything but standard.

Structured unstructure

I have to admit I’m not normally the biggest fan of sculpture; I normally find it impersonal and often leave the exhibition feeling a bit empty. I thought I would feel the same way about the sculptures, but I didn’t. I enjoyed stepping into a world of warped structure. Jacobs’ style is in keeping with the German mentality – reuse, recycle. Old industrial materials are reshaped into art. Yet whilst industry and metal are symbols of strength the sculptures appear weak. Jacobs has battered them down, beaten them up and taken away their strict structure; now they bend in an almost painful way. Jacobs has somehow managed to fool me into thinking steel is not strong!

A Dangerous Beauty

The more I thought about the weakness of the sculptures the more I noticed their strength and this strength made the sculptures beautiful. Even in their defeat the metal tubes retain their new form and their new look hides their power and potential danger…was it Colonel Mustard in the Lounge with the metal pipe that killed Miss Scarlet?

 Jeroen Jacobs "Untitled"Jeroen Jacobs, “Untitled”, Photo: Courtesy of Sommer&Kohl


What I liked most about the sculptures was their similarity to one another, a similarity which highlights their individuality.  The collection of pieces are all “Untitled”, they are all made of the same material and object (metal tubes). All of them are bashed out of shape and bowing in submission. However, each is a separate art work and each has its own shape, direction and hammer imprint, almost like fingerprints! Where once they would have looked the same, Jacobs has given the tubes individuality. I liked the human element this gave the very industrial and lifeless materials, the idea that everyone is made of the same basic elements but no one is identical.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland…….sort of!

I decided to avoid the bustling area around U-Kurfürstenstrasse by taking the “scenic” route to U-Gleisdreike. The dormant building site I accidentally ended up exploring in the snow mirrored the industrial sculptures and structural theme of the exhibition as well as providing a great photo opportunity and chance to get a bit lost! 

  • Sommer&Kohl, “Jeroen Jacobs – JJ” , January 14th 2012 – February 25th 2012, Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm and by appointment