Oiseaux by Jochen Gerner / ISBN 9782490077502 / A 224-page hardback, 7 x 9.25 inches, from Editions B42 (France) / a short afterword in French
Oiseaux is an aviary of 200 drawings made by Jochen Gerner between February 2019 and September 2020. Each of these birds was drawn with pigmented Indian ink felt pens on small-format school notebooks from China and India, on which lines and squares of different sizes appear.
This series of drawings constitutes a graphic experiment aimed at exploring the potential of the grid, the superimposition of lines and the association of a reduced number of colors in the creation of feathers. By mixing dreamed and real birds, this inventory questions the links between the imaginary and reality in our daily lives, and teaches us that the fantastic is often to be found in the reality of everyday life.
In this graphic research, Jochen Gerner was inspired by the work of eighteenth-century illustrators such as François-Nicolas Martinet, who used to depict birds in profile, thus giving them a noble and stiff character, contrasting with the strength and brightness of the colors.
This series of drawings is accompanied by a text in french written by the philosopher Emanuele Coccia, who places Jochen Gerner’s practice within the history of comics, and proposes a philosophical interpretation of what birds can contribute to our reflection on the world.