John Court produces art that springs from personal experience, focuses on the body and, most importantly, hinges on process and the passage of time. Court graduated from London’s Camberwell School of Art (1994) and obtained a 1st Class Honours Degree in Sculpture from the Norwich School of Art and Design (1997) and, although the general character of his projects has evolved over time, the artistic footing he developed while a sculpture student continues to be a mainstay of his approach. Colour, for example, never requites consideration, since it is predetermined by the materials he uses.
While he continues to produce sculptural objects and draw, these processes are frequently adapted to respond to specific contexts and/or dovetailed into time-based works. The resulting transformations greatly expand the scope of these artistic approaches and generate outcomes that are unexpected and intrigue. Moreover, Court’s interest in process is so far-reaching that he does not differentiate between work produced in the studio or live before audiences. He considers all to be performative.
A particularly compelling feature of Court’s practice is how he explores his relationship to language activities. Although he grasps artistic concepts and can analyse visual information, his reading and writing abilities are impeded by a severe form of dyslexia. Thus, as a young adult determined to go to art school, he worked diligently to improve his literacy skills resulting in finding and developing new ways of communicating those issues. He then, as an art school student, began to draw from his previous school experiences and represent aspects of them in his work. As a focus, this theme became comprehensive and runs through much of the artist’s work.
All of Court’s works embody the interdependent processes of writing and drawing, which are fundamental to his practice, and unite line, movement, time, and space. They are unique to themselves. As such, they manifest inextricable and dynamic totalities that not only reflect his reality, but also provide viewers with experiences that reshape their views on the acquisition and use of language.
Saturday, October 7th 12–5 PM
Saturday, October 28th 12–5 PM
John Court (b. 1969, Bromley, Kent, UK) has been living and working in Tornio, Finland, since 1997. Court is a durational performance artist. Time is one of the most important elements in his work. Often he performs for 8 hours, the length of a work day. Other times he performs throughout an entire event or during the opening hours of the specific venue (museum, institution), in which the event takes place, on each single day.
Lately he has been interested in letting the objects and materials that he uses in his performances determine the duration of his work. He does not consider his performances as solo pieces, since the element of collaboration is inherent in them, be it through his engagement with curators, organizers, artists, viewers, objects, spaces and time. Court’s works are responsive to the site and often the continuous, repetitive action creates a rhythm that runs parallel to that of the site. In all his works he is fundamentally concerned with drawing or writing, as drawing connects line, movement, space and time.
He has exhibited extensively and has been invited to perform at major events such as Navigating North KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art (2023) Belfast International Festival of Performance Art Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK (2023, Das Dicke Ende in Bern Art Museum Switzerland (2018), MA, Art Museum in Rouyn-Noranda Canada (2018), UP-ON Live Art festival Chengdu China (2017), SIGNAL Festival in Brussels Belgium (2017), Beijing Live in China (2016), Viva! Art Action festival in Montreal, Canada (2015), 7a*11d in Toronto, Canada(2014), DigitaLive in Guangzhou, China (2014), SpaceX Gallery Exeter in UK (2012), Guangzhou Live Art Festival in China (2010), ANTI Contemporary Art Festival in Finland (2010 and 2018), the Venice Biennale (2005) and the Liverpool Biennial (2004).