The Museum of Military History, Dresden
March 13, 2023
Jon Kessler‘s piece "The Trauma Factory" from the ARNDT Collection has just returned from a 12 year long term loan to the Museum of Military History (Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr (@mhmdresden) in Dresden, Germany.

Born in 1957, Yonkers, New York, Kessler's chaotic kinetic installations critiques our image-obsessed, surveillance-dominated world. His machines are at once complex and lumbering, combining mechanical know-how with kitschy materials and images. Structurally complex and narratively engaging, the artist’s multimedia sculptures often deliver an emotional punch beyond their humble means. With his distinct vocabulary, Kessler taps into our all-too-real modern-day anxieties, but at the same time, spirits us away into an exciting wonderland that is ultimately uplifting.

“The Trauma Factory” is one of his typical works using kinetic multimedia supplies and deals with the subversion of images. While a camera is directed to a constantly moving track with mounted safety instructions (emergency flight procedure) the distorted images appear on 6 monitors. This piece uses the imagery that normally signifies safety or order and releases an underlying potential for horror and trauma.

Artwork caption:
Jon Kessler
"The Trauma Factory" (2006)
multimedia installation
192 × 91 × 101 cm