Jacob Borges


05. Feb 27. Mar 2011

On the floor in front of a wall lies a small group of balloons, from which the air has been let out. On the wall above is the title in capital letters: A Handful of Balloons Inflated and Deflated.

While the physical work has been deflated, the title has been blown up larger than life. The air has gone out of the balloon, the party is over; only the story of the action remains. The titles of Jacob Borges’ works always play a crucial role, as they attach a story to the work.

The exhibition title Der Stadtneurotiker is taken from the German title of the Woody Allen film Annie Hall from 1977. Borges chose the German version because, in his eyes, it is an example of a really bad title that imposes a particular perspective on the film, making this otherwise complex film seem oddly flat. As he explains:

“By using this title, I transfer the same flat perspective to my exhibition; an act that interests me, because I find it exciting to continually pull the rug out from under myself and the artist’s role I have taken on.”

In both titles and works, Borges, like a true anti-hero, focuses on the real and perhaps less flattering sides of the otherwise so sublime art. Art simultaneously succeeds and fails. Borges artistic practice builds upon actions and interventions in the already known. With a poetic and melancholy humour he describes the individual’s fundamental loneliness, and the rules we impose upon ourselves and others in order to make life more

For the exhibition, Jacob Borges has amongst other things created a series of alternative portraits, including the text work Grim Reaper, which, without the usual photographic artwork, creates a picture of 87-year-old Harry Meadows, who dressed up as the figure of Death, with the consequence that he literally scared three of his fellow residents at the Haslemere nursing home in England to death. It is personal history writing. Borges does not focus on big deeds, but rather on details – the little curl on the tail of the story.

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