J. M. Heard
J. M. Heard (*1987 in New York City) lives and works in Berlin. He studied fine art at the Städelschule in Michael Krebber's, Josef Strau's and Haegue Yang's class. Prior to that he studied art from 2008–2010 at the BFA California Institute of the Arts.
At the exhibition After Rubens at the Städel Museum J.M. Heard received the 2018 graduate prize of € 2000 awarded by the Städelschule Portikus e.V.
His installation Paintings for the Blind and Dyslexic (2015–2018) was selected by the jury with the following words: "The installation was convincing through a complex examination of different types of museum visits and their potential. The reduction of the visual medium of painting and the focus on the integrated audio guides with numerous parts was successful."
For the 2018 Städelschule Absolventenausstellung at the Städelmuseum John Heard exhibited books, paintings, and audio recordings in the form of audioguides. Heard’s apparently museological installation presents a maze of content and context. Descriptions, explanations, anecdotes and the audioguide devices that distribute them are implicated in the artwork itself. The voices and opinions of other artists, writers and critics combine with Heard’s own to create sometimes antithetical readings of the paintings which they address and in someway constitute.
Vernon Lee’s “Psychology of an Art Writer”, which describes the distance between painting and the writing about it, is quoted on a audioguide track for a painting that supposedly depicts her. Also notably present is a reference to the blog, Zoominmuseums.org, which reviews museum accessibility features for the blind, a demographic dependent on audioguides for access to museums like the Städel. With these references and several others, Heard’s installation, Paintings for the Blind and Dyslexic, seeks to address the many modes by which a painting can be appreciated and finds expression in the variability of its apprehension.
Martin Engler (Department of Contemporary Art, Städel Museum), Elke Gruhn (Director Nassauischer Kunstverein), Christina Lehnert (Curator, Portikus) and Dr. Konstantin Technau (Städelschule Portikus e.V.)
With support from Städelschule Portikus e.V.