The work of Tom Kok (1987, Gouda, NL) mainly consists of sculptural installations, video's and performances. His works are initiated by a fascination for the fragility of science. Through a wide range of subjects, he investigates the social and cultural consequences of knowledge structures. His works are frequently assembled as sequences within subject-specific projects. Tom Kok is also part of an extensive collaboration with Jan Willem Deiman (aka Kok&Deiman).
Appropriating historical events and artifacts, disapproved paradigms and unfortunate mistakes, Kok creates works that challenge the tension between the authoritative voice of science and the subjective voice of the artist. Departing from a theoretical framework, he seeks for new visual narratives that distort and restructure fragments of information.
The project 'The Man and the Little Thunder Church' (2010) for example, focussed primarily on the theatricality used in 18th century science to persuade audiences. In the final installment of the project, this theatricality became an inherent part of the minimalistic sculptures and video work. In his carefully arranged works Kok uses abstraction and surreal humor as means to establish a material discourse around his subject matter. Aesthetically Kok's work presents a provoking dialogue between industrially appealing elements and bricolaged objects. Like in the project 'Manual for Prospecting' powder coated steel, a mechanical kinetic arm, and shining brass objects are juxtaposed with dripping wax, plaster shapes, and handcrafted cups.
In both his solo and collaborative practice Kok elaborates on the fragility of seemingly rigid systems such as science. Hereby he questions contemporary systems of collective belief and invites the viewer to re-consider their relationship with the current paradigm.
By means of abstraction and surreal humor, Kok's works succeed in surpassing their original theoretical framework and rather transform it into a new -visual- narrative. With his work Kok reflects on the strong monopolistic influence science has on the western world.
Tom Kok studied at the HKU (BA) and the Piet Zwart Institute (MFA). He currently lives and works in Utrecht (NL) and regularly collaborates with Jan Willem Deiman as Kok&Deiman
with the kind support of: