Jonathan Monk proceeds by method, by series. He creates scores that, once established, are carried through, this second part not being necessarily the most important step. These scores might be considered as a broader form of editing and some of its parameters: image reproduction rights, copyright, artistic property. Jonathan Monk is the perfect candidate for edition, because for him original and copy most importantly represent endless and free possibilities of crossings, of clouding issues and of conceptualization, all this above their commercial value. Monk revisits some artistic standards often in the form of multiples, like an actor who would re-enact his classics, practice his scales. He maintains an ironic distance to art – most often to conceptual art – but also takes a similar amused and critical look at society and its excesses. Monk stages and experiences the proliferation of signs, might they be artistic or consumerist, as a daily invasion of our living and mental space. He recomposes and reorganizes these signs in order to reveal all their absurdity with a discrepancy that is more often affective and autobiographical than it seems.
For his solo show, Egg, at the CEC, from February 21 to April 27, 2013, Jonathan Monk has imagined Soft Boiled Eggs, an edition of a series of unique Super 8 films. The making of these films is based on the duration of a Super 8 film cartridge and on the time, it takes to cook an egg. An edition with copies produced every two and a half minutes, a mechanical possibility of making an edition. In a same pan, Monk adds an egg every two and a half minutes: in the first film, we see only one egg, in the second two eggs, etc., until ten eggs in the tenth film. If this statement might seem simple and old-fashioned, it probably suggests an innocent imitation of historical and more conceptual eggs or series of eggs; we think of Manzoni, Broodthaers, Kippenberger… and also underlines the idea of egg as an object, the perfect multiple. For Jonathan Monk, the idea appears unavoidable: …”I like boiled eggs and I couldn’t escape from them! – for me they represented the beginning of something… in this case the egg and not the chicken…”
The finalised edition consists of a Super 8 film roll, one DVD transfer and a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. It is housed in a black box, carefully hand painted with ten coloured eggs. An Easter edition, if you like.
Johnathan Monk, Soft Boiled Eggs, Soft Boiled Egg 1/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 9/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 2/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 8/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 3/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 7/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 4/10 + Soft Boiled Egsg 6/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 5/10 + Soft Boiled Eggs 10/10, 10 unique films, Super 8 and DVD, colours, duration of the films = cooking time of one egg (approx. 2 min. 45), of 2 eggs, of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 eggs, colors, 2023
Johnathan Monk Soft Boiled Eggs Soft Boiled Egg 1/10, …, Soft Boiled Eggs 10/10, 10 unique films, Super 8 and DVD, colours, duration of the films = cooking time of one egg (approx. 2 min. 45), of 2 eggs, of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 eggs, black cardboard box with a hand – painted pattern by Jonathan Monk on its cover, spray, colours, containing the Super 8 film and a DVD – transfer, as well as a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, edition of 10, numbered from 1 to 10, dated, edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, 2013.
Jonathan Monk was born in Leicester in 1969 and lives and works in Berlin. His most recent solo exhibitions were held in 2023 at Cristina Guerra, Lisbon, Galerie Dvir, Paris, König2 project space, Vienna; in 2022 at Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, Massimo de Carlo, Paris, and Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe. In 2023, he took part in several group shows, including Galerie Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Mudac, Lausanne, Fondation Morra Greco, Naples; in 2022, Collection Boros, Berlin, MAH, Geneva, Design Museum Holon, Israel, and MAAT, Lisbon.
This project is sponsored by the Federal Office of Culture and the Republic and the Canton of Geneva.