The Portrait Room. Portrait#8: Jonas Hermenjat


Jonas Hermenjat is not ashamed of being human.
Inebriated by life, he throws up art.


Jonas Hermenjat is born in 1983 in Geneva, Switzerland and is an alumnus of HEAD (Haute Ecole d’Art et Design). His work has been recently exhibited in two solo shows as well as relevant group exhibitions – notably at Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève, FRI ART, Villa Bernasconi and Live in your head Gallery.

In a precious documentary, Laurence Weiner affirms that there are no reasons for art, neither excuses. We do not need art. What really matters, to an artist, is the presentation of the work: up to the audience to be interested or not. Jonas Hermenjat’s works are apparently far from being conceptual. Nevertheless, the essential core of his bulimic, carnal production is the need for production itself. Inexplicably, inevitably: Jonas must produce objects. In doing so, he does not aim to establish a hierarchy between him and the viewer. The exchange he looks for is free, spontaneous, surprising. Through assemblages of paintings, sculptures, drawings and tapestries, he materializes a complex attention to “thingness”. To produce, create and accumulate seem to be the only ways to say what he has to say. There is no contrivied strategy behind, just anecdotes to share. One can find or lost himself in the uncomplete stories he displays. Fragments, references to History of Art or his own private life: everything is in the pot and we eat his delicious hotchpotch, free to create our own narrations out of it.

Never sober, his installations are excessive but refined. There is a certain daintiness, and deliciousness, and lightness in Jonas’s work, that I would not hesitate to call sensual. What appears like an ironic game board, it is actually an attempt to get rid of the artist’s constellation of thoughts, experiences and visions. This makes Jonas’ work so romantic: it appears like an emotional landscape, an eccentric ego’s creature. The visitors of his exhibitions stand alone within his sparkling vivid imagination. His artworks are catalysts. They invite to touch, feel, look closer. They provoque a will for possession, a strong attraction that makes the observers connect to the artist’s human fragility and strongness.
Through a creative explosion, Jonas Hermenjat’s art becomes a nubbin one impatiently wonders to pick. Heterogeneity: figures, over the table; pilgrims, in the night.

Le coeur du poisson continue à battre bien après la séparation du corps.
And Jonas’s stories keep on being alive, even after he has expelled them.


Useful links for the reader:

Lawrence Weiner at “When Attitudes Become Forms” (02:12):
Jonas Hermenjat at Hard Hat Gallery, exhibition’s views:
Pdf press release for Bourses de la Ville de Genève:


Tuesday 18/02/2014, 10 °C, “La ferblanterie”, Geneva

Leave a Reply

by Michela Alessandrini
in The Portrait Room

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory