TRIAL & ERROR
Jesse Garcia (1975-2013) was an artist and filmmaker working in the fields of photography, political documentary and mixed media. Trial & Error is part of an ongoing series of projects on his life and work. Although this will be his inaugural public exhibition, Garcia often worked as a curator for political documentary festivals through his job at the NGO Transparency International as well as working on video editing for their advertising campaigns. His photography work was largely private and it is here that a selection of his archive is shown for the first time situated among various objects and ephemera he created or collected.
Garcia’s general approach to life and work was often scientific with the potential for risk. He was interested in sites of transition and subjects under construction, be it the ‘non-place’ (of airports, waiting rooms and taxis), the autobiographical (as an American national growing up in Germany), or the political (documenting demonstrations, corruption and the days immediately around 9/11). The subject matter of the photos lends itself to archiving since they involve the recurring themes of collection (of products, of posters, of photos, of music, of systematic visual categories) and duration (clocks, travel, and a fascination with the construction sites outside of his window and around the city).
Whilst writing this text I was reminded of a phrase by philosopher Reza Negarestani about Inhumanism and Rationalism, in which he posits ‘a demand for construction, to define what it is to be human by treating human as a constructible hypothesis, a space of navigation and intervention’.
Just as the site of Garcia as a space of remembrance should not be mere nostalgia, but rather components to assemble thought aimed towards the future, so this exhibition is comprised of visual cues such as the metal cabinet (part supermarket, part archive), the record archive to be played by the viewer, and the construction piping, to be viewed and experienced as an unlocked archive, set in motion and reconfigured with current emotions, thoughts and experiences looking forwards.
On the occasion of this exhibition, two posters and a photographic edition are available that best encompass his work.
The exhibition continues at Martinique, the café next door, with a selection of Jesse’s music collection along with a video entitled “Déviation loop”, produced as a club visual for recording artist Heatsick.
This was from when Jesse visited Fassbinder's grave near Munich in summer 2012. I met up with him at Suedblock and he brought me 5 different wax rubbings of his grave. He said "i know how much you like him and would loved to visit his grave, so in this way you can". I think that is about as thoughtful as it gets.
Poster and Bat Coat Hanger:
These were made by Jesse when he had a spell in the Charité in 2009.
He made the bat in a workshop, he was always fond of bats.
The Sommerfest poster was designed for a fest for his ward.
Mineral bath poster in bathroom:
This was in Jesse's flat when he moved in 2003 and he kept it up
i always remember seeing it when i was at his house, particularly his bathroom.