Joachim Koester

Joachim Koester: Hypnagogia

Joachim Koester’s sensual and enigmatic trio of 16mm films, Hypnagogia, explores gesture, body language and unconscious impulses.

Dancers wearing everyday clothes convulse and gyrate, enacting symptoms of a spider’s bite in a riff on the Southern Italian dance called the tarantella; a man mimes actions that channel shamanic gestures; abstract squiggles evoke the experience of writing after consuming mescaline. Hypnagogia, the threshold between consciousness and sleep, is explored in the three films that comprise Joachim Koester’s first solo show in Canada: Tarantism (2007), My Frontier is an Endless Wall of Points (after the mescaline drawings of Henri Michaux) (2007) and To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown necessitates an attitude of daring, but not one of recklessness (movements generated from the Magical Passes of Carlos Castaneda) (2009). Projected onto floating screens, these black-and-white 16-mm film loops suggest conscious and unconscious states and gestures, irrationality, loss of control, possession, and the "fringes of the body" that Koester terms "the grey zone."
Joachim Koester was born in Copenhagen in 1962 and is currently based in Copenhagen and Brooklyn. He represented Denmark in the 2005 Venice Biennale. Recent solo shows have taken place at Extra City, Antwerp and Overgaden, Copenhagen, and group exhibitions include Dance with Camera, ICA Philadelphia (2009), Altermodern, Tate Modern (2009) and The Return of Religion and other Myths, BAK (2009). Koester is represented in New York by GreeneNaftali, in Copenhagen by Galleri Nicolai and in Brussels by Jan Mot.

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