By Smolik, Noemi
Artforum International , Vol. 50, No. 7
Jon Shelton is an American but he has been part of the scenery in Cologne for years. One can usually find him at a garage space around the corner from the Hotel Chelsea (named after the famous Chelsea Hotel in New-York). Patiently, he lets visitors peek into the two hundred-square-foot rooms where he creates and stores his life's work. It is also from here that he has run his company, Oscitant Enterprises, for the past seven years. On the firm's website, Shelton offers his services in very professional language: Oscitant both manufactures products to order and sells a line of the company's own products. These are described just as they would be in a luxury retailer's catalogue. The wares are divided into the departments of Production (profit-generating projects, goods, and services) and IA]Production (loss-generating ones; i.e., art).
"Production" covers everything from handcrafted wooden boxes to portable tables. Things gamore inter esting in the [A] Produetion department. One can order a working site model for Oscitant Enterprises' new-radical Conceptual art-training facilities in Libya, or a 1:10 model of the Oscitant rhizomatic transportable I studio, available in a standard version or a deluxe model with its own storage box. Also available are drawings of current political and social events, created by Shelron almost daily. Apparently naive, like cheap comics, the drawings are actually shrewd observations on a society possessed by violence, hatred, environmental destruction, racism, genetic engineering, and irresponsible and dangerous financial games. Shelton offers handmade boxes for his drawings, so a high-quality, finely crafted wooden case might open to display, for instance, the grinning face of Mahmoud Ahmadincjad.
Aside from a 2010 three-person exhibition of drawings at New York's Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Oscitant Enterprises has not been presented in a gallery until now. …