Author Archives: PILOTENKUECHE

Artist Spotlight: Charles Park

 Photographing environmental interventions is how Charles describes his work when you meet him. An hour after he will take an awkward photo of you. Charles is severely enthusiastic about sneaking his film camera flash in front of one’s face, in order to catch, mostly an awkward but sometimes decently beautiful expression. To be fair, the developed photographs that he brings to our tables with a smile on his face are definitely honest and vulnerable portraits of all of us.

However, this is not what his artistic practice is all about. In his photographic work, he becomes less spontaneous and gives place to conceptualizing an image beforehand. Here we enter a more silent space; a stillness of a landscape, random forests and bushes covered with pink stripes, abandoned places, and secluded indistinguishable objects collected out of a landfill.

Charles does not record passively, but rather approaches the ‘photographic’ with interventions and deliberate constructions in an environment. This is his way of highlighting camouflaged properties exposing what is hidden before us. His practice aims for revealing and concealing the outside environment, which is what photography itself as a medium does. However, Charles confirms and emphasizes the both exposing and masking as a paradox, mainly in physical interventions he stages for his camera- returning himself, and us for that matter, to the never completely graspable language of photography.

His working process sometimes involves using a metal detector to investigate the hidden in a specific landscape, but also could mean spending a whole night in an abandoned building in Leipzig. In this particular case, he observed the light behavior on the building’s walls and reversed its function into a camera chamber. Here, he took the imperfections of the space and captured the light that beams across on daily basis. The colored designs highlight and help in understanding the layout of the architecture but also the placement of the concrete foundation in relation to the sun.

Heavily influenced by the surrounding landscape of southern California, specifically the severe drought and bush fires, his images reflect the shadows of those of ruins, products of human destructive hand and nature’s inevitable reaction. Photography has always had a strong relationship with geography. In today’s post-photography, when its practice and history is being challenged, it still holds an important role of transferring the invisible in the new geological era we have entered. For the exhibition Unfinished Hase Charles presented himself with a ‘double revealed’ by additionally inverting the colors of the final reproduction of the site intervention, in order to expose what is hidden in the very image itself.

All photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program or courtesy of Charles Park

In Leipzig, what grabs his attention mostly are abandoned buildings, those stripped from their function multiple times. Ruins as ‘imperial debris’ or ‘architecture of oblivion’ to borrow these terms from two book titles, are strongly attached to Germany’s history where architectonic structures have been changing as governments and wars altered them. With new investigations of these places, Charles projects a capsule into the past. Furthermore, inhabiting them means a reunion with the present’s heterogeneity and recognizing its rich texture.

Born in Los Angeles, he has spent countless hours driving through southern California. This perhaps immediately recalls the American photography tradition that has been inspiring a variety of artists still today- the road trip. However, Charles did not take a record of the scenery as his main ambition, but primarily it helped him experience the terrain in a different way- on the move. This frequent driving through has helped him, so he speaks, to understand a diverse Eco climate in only a one day’s work. On the other hand, New York, where he currently lives and obtained his MFA from Parsons the New School for Art and Design, proved that he does not work well in limited space areas.

Knowing all of this, it comes as no surprise that we do not see Charles working in the studio often, but mostly chatting with us. To the greatest extent his work happens outside and on the move while he is appreciating the tranquility of the city. He is strongly determined to overcome the challenges in clearing out his image ideas into our world and focusing on controlling the scene in front of him, with only occasional bad weather standing in his way.

Written by Samra Šabanović


Unfinished Hase

15 Feb – 23 Feb 2019
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

Artist Spotlight: Ana Castillo

‘If I like the T-shirt I will just cut it!” – explains Ana, recklessly forgetting to add ‘out’ to the ‘cut’. Ana is our French-Spanish artist based in Paris. What is so interesting at first glance besides her working overalls, her accent and cool stance? When entering Ana’s studio, you immediately notice an obsession with image culture, particularly representation of youth, lifestyle, varieties of characters and attitudes from magazines and social media. Her sketchbook is filled with drawings of people of different backgrounds and, while drawn to representation of women in media, her characters are androgynous and masculine, singer and politicians, feminine and queer.

So, what does Ana do with these images? First, she becomes a collector. She cuts out pictures from magazines, her own photographs and from social media. She spreads them all over the table, then assembles them to create new images. As she transforms the collages, she interprets the surface and transforms their looks. Sometimes she places them in pictures of landscape, often ones that hearken back to her Spanish roots. Ana goes home to rest from the visual overload. She returns with fresh eyes to move them around again. Thus she never lets the “collection” stagnate. It is constantly altering to bring new relationships.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

The term collage was coined by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when it became a distinctive part of modern art. Ana takes collage into the current century by treating it as a crucial working process. She creates a new reality which she re-interprets into painting, illustration or animated videos and GIFs. Hard-working but intuitive, playful but serious, with collage we are reminded of metaphoric pun as intellectual act. Image as product of a mind is born from not comparing two realities but rather getting them closer together.

Ana’s studio is a place where images grow and multiply. The table covered with cut out pictures juxtaposes two paintings and an orange background on the wall she has been working on simultaneously, while various photographs are opened on her laptop. Working in Pilotenkueche for Ana is not stylistically much different from working at home or in a rented studio in the City of lights. Only this time, neither she nor her painting are confined. What is new is the sense of freedom she gets in terms of spaciousness. Naturally, this reflects in her work in progress. She is aiming for larger paintings. For the upcoming exhibitions, we can expect to see paintings approaching monumental sizes. However, she will stay faithful to the appearance of a collage by avoiding the traditional, right-angled shapes of canvas.

Leipzig is, so we hear, not lacking young stylish people with attitude. During winter they hide themselves in cool bars and underground clubs, leaving the streets empty. Some of us will definitely follow Ana in her exploration of the techno scene here, enjoying the environment and in search for Leipzig characters for her new inspiration.

Written by Samra Šabanović


Come and see what Ana creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany

This was the 37th round

Last week we said goodbye to 2018 and, with it, our most recent residents. We will remember the ideas and collaborative spontaneity that filled the studio, but most of all their ability to play in life and through their art. We were able to bond through our collective experiences. Between our four exhibitions, our program days included day trips to Bauhaus and Halle. We saw Leipzig from many perspectives, talked to exhibiting artists, gallery owners, curators and project spaces. We toured the west with architects, went to museums and even to the Christmas market.

We danced, we laughed, but most of all: we created.

International Artists
Ai Ikeda (Montreal, Canada)
Barry Amey (Cornwall, UK)
Buket Savci (NYC, USA)
David Benarroch (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Robert Finn Curry (Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
Jan Yongdeok Lim (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Luca Arboccò (Turin, Italy)
Mihyun Maria Kim (Edmonton, Canada)
Nicholas Adamson (Winnipeg, Canada)
Reinhold Ponesch (Vienna, Austria)
Tamaki Kawaguchi (Osaka, Japan)
Yuuki Horiuchi (Tokyo, Japan)

Local Artists
Georg Lisek (Leipzig, Germany)
Julia Eichler (Halle, Germany)

Viviane Tabach (São Paulo, Brazil)

Elias Emtanes (Leipzig, Germany)
Ines Alberty (London, UK)


PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program is looking for a new director to take it over and further its development. The independent artist run project,  founded in 2007, is one of the largest international art programs in Europe’s boomtown of Leipzig, Germany.  

The program is four-fold: the International Residency Program, the Local Participants Program, the International Internship Program and the Emerging Curator Program. Each round lasts three months and relies on an open call. After an intensive selection process, the project invites up to 12 artists from around the world to participate in the International Residency Program. Each artist has up to 36m² in the fully remodeled communal 465m² space. The concept encourages experimental strategies and embraces a trans-disciplinary ethos, aiming to provide the participants with the experience of accomplishing something collectively.

The International artists are joined by the two local artists of the Local Participants Program for our program activities. These activites encourage stimulating dialogue that is vital in fostering an independent position in one’s work, while binding the individuals temporarily as a group. This leads to a long-term network that exists long after the program is over. 

The project works closely with the emerging curator and interns to create a quality program, including high caliber exhibitions that are both thought provoking and engage the viewer. During their internship, they are involved in every step of the process, from the consultations with artists, to the first-rate promotion in print and social media. When they leave the program, they have work to include in their portfolios.


The project is well thought-out,  has many local and international partnerships and is in good administrative condition.

Let the future begin.

After four years of dedication from current director, Martin Holz, it is time for change. The program is looking for a new director to run the program. The job is challenging and versatile – it requires love, dedication and responsibility. The handover would take place in 2019 and the requirements discussed individually. All selected applicants will be invited for a personal interview where further details will be discussed. We are accepting applications until 31.12.18.  The new director will be introduced into the structure and the tasks by the coordinator and the former director. 

The takeover includes everything required to run the program, such as:

  • Studio space and its inventory
  • Apartment and its inventory
  • Website and social media
  • Documentation
  • Administrative structure
  • Etc.

The program is run independently. The director is not a figure head. They are autonomus and are, therefore, soley responsible for the project. This requires versatile knowledge in technical and financial administration, as well as experience in the fields of space coordination and curation.

We are looking for a person / team to replace the current director.

Term: begin 2019
Application Deadline: 31.12.18

How to apply?

Please send:

  • a representive CV
  • a motivation letter
  • an overview of your skillset

to by 31.12.18 

Please explore our website to familiarise yourself with the program and its concept before applying.

Visiting: Galerie Hotel Leipziger Hof, Helmut

This Thursday saw several pilots accompany our curator Vanessa Souli to visit two gallery spaces in the East of the city. First, they browsed a collection of works from over 90 local artists on permanent exhibition at the Hotel Leipziger Hof on Hedwigstraße.  The majority of the works reflected Leipzig’s vibrant history as a centre for printmaking and etching, ranging from the early 20th Century into the present day.

Next they headed towards Reudnitz for a solo exhibition featuring works from Jos Diegel, a Leipzig-based artist originally from Frankfurt.  The venue, Helmut, is a non-profit organisation and are dependent on various donations and support from committed members and the public. Also located in the East of Leipzig, it is a space for art, culture and political education and the works of Job Diegel touch on these themes; questioning the social-political structures within our societies.

All photos by Pilotenkueche.


Helmut on Facebook

Galerie Hotel Leipziger Hof on Facebook

Visiting: GFZK, Kunstkraftwerk, Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde, Alte Handelsschule

Tüe last two days saw pilots pay visits to several galleries and museums accross Leipzig, in order to get a better  idea of the cultural landscape of the city.  On Wednesday, they took advantage of free admittance to the Galerie für Zeitgenossiche Kunst (GFZK) offered on the last Wednesday of every month, perusing the ongoing exhibition Pass-Stücke, a collection aimed at appealing to the wider public by including an array of everyday objects.  The collection notably featured a chronological catalogue of Texte zur Kunst, a German-language magazine focused on critiquing art and contemporary culture.  

Thursday saw the pilots accompany our curator Vanessa Souli to events at three separate locations: ‘Renaissance Experience,’ at the Kunstkraftwerk, the permanent collection at the Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde, and finally the opening for ‘Italian Urban Art,’ at the Alte Handelsschule. ‘Renaissance Experience,’ is a series of audio-visual installations, joint funded by Leipzig and Florence city councils, aimed at replicating the contents of the Uffizi Gallery within the walls of the Kunstkraftwerk in an immersive, multi-dimentional experience.  Next, the pilots headed north to tour the permanent collections at the Grassi museum of ethnology: a series of objects arranged in a timeline from Western, Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures.  Finally, the pilots headed to the Alte Handelsschule for the opening of ‘Italian Urban Art,’ a show organised by former Pilotenkueche curator of the 34th Round Maria Aria. 

We wish Maria lots of luck with the exhibition!

All Photos by Pilotenkueche

Maria Aria
“Italian Urban Art”
on Facebook
“Renaissance Experience”






OPEN CALL FOR CURATORS / July – September 2019

The Open Call for Curators for the July – September 2019 round of our international art program is active now and we are open for applications. The program invites selected artists from around the world to come and work in the fully remodeled space for a period of three months. Our concept encourages experimental strategies and embraces a trans-disciplinary ethos, aiming to provide our participants with the experience of accomplishing something collectively. In a group of around eleven participants, a stimulating dialogue becomes vital in fostering an independent position in one’s work.


The project invites within the “Emerging Curator Program” curators to gain direct experience in the field. Invited curators engage with a group of artists and learn complex social, theoretical and practical aspects of accommodating various concepts and mediums in a single exhibition. This program aims to support the young profesaionals and to connect them to international as well as local artists and the greater Leipzig community. We maintain engagements with several partners, and by introducing our artists to these, make it possible for participants to cooperate with and exhibit in other venues. Our concept encourages experimental strategies and embraces a trans-disciplinary ethos, aiming to provide our participants with the experience of accomplishing something collectively. In a group of around international and local artists a stimulating dialogue becomes vital in fostering an independent position in one’s work while binding the individuals temporarily within the group, which leads to a long-term network that exists even after the program is over.

We’re looking for interns to participate on our program in the 40th round during from July – September  2019 until 30.09.18.

Term: July – September 2019
Application Deadline: 30.09.18

Round July – Sept.: 2019: 30.09.18
Round Oct. – Dec. 2019: 30.12.18
Round Jan. – March 2020: 30.03.19
Round April – June 2019: 30.06.19

We offer the chance to connect with artists and expand the personal network we understand the project as a platform for the participating curator, to gain insights as well as to experiment in a practical field, to benefit their own position, concepts, as well as overall career.

We expect openness, good English / German skills, a hands-on mentality, flexibility and the ability to work independently, paired with significant skills in contemporary art. The curator is expected to work actively within the group of artists to develop, mobilize, and realize concepts of the planned exhibition. Further expectations include discussing didactic concepts as well as giving assistance to the artists, individually and collectively. Curators work a maximum of 20 hours /week for a period of 3 months.

Please submit a cover letter, our application form and a CV. Questions? Please read our website or send us an email at

OPEN CALL FOR INTERNS / July – September 2019

PILOTENKUECHE is looking for Interns for the July – September 2019 roundThe program invites selected artists from around the world to come and work in the fully remodeled space for a period of three months. Our concept encourages experimental strategies and embraces a trans-disciplinary ethos, aiming to provide our participants with the experience of accomplishing something collectively. In a group of around eleven participants, a stimulating dialogue becomes vital in fostering an independent position in one’s work. Continue reading

Visiting: The Grass is Greener, Josef Filipp Gallery

Last week we visited two spaces at the Spinnerei: The Grass is Greener and the Josef Filipp Gallery At The Grass is Greener, we were shown ,,Schwimmer und Türmer,” an exhibition by Aachen-based artist Sigrid von Lintig.  A painter, Sigfrid von Lintig’s has been focused on swimmers for around five years.  The collection combined this recent focus on swimmers with  older projects of hers focused on towers, creating a dialogue between these themes.

Afterwards at the Josef Filipp Gallerie we were shown three photographers’ exhibitions in the wake of f/Stop photography festivalFantastic Realism by Sebastian Gögel, Bauhaus Dessau by Georg Brückmann, and Wende Zeiten by Thomas Steinert. Each artists’ work covered a specific location and theme throughout German history, as well as aspects of the local history of Leipzig.  Former Pilotenkueche curator Philipp Anders, currently co-curator of the Josef Filipp, took us around each artist’s collection, explaining the context and process behind them.

Special thanks to Sigrid von Lintig and Esther Niebel from The Grass is Greener for the tours!


All photos by Pilotenkueche Leipzig

,,Schwimmer und Türmer” at The Grass is Greener
f/stop Komplizen at Josef Filipp Gallery





Upcoming Shows of the 36th Round / 17.08.18 – 25.09.18

We are thrilled to invite you to our preview exhibitions which will present the ongoing work of the 36th round of Pilotenküche at various spaces. We will continue our collaboration with ‘PING PONG’ as well as with ‘Alte Handelsschule’ and we will present our final show, as always, at our premises in the Pilotenküche Studio.

The upcoming shows of our current residents from all over the world including USA, UK, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Israel, and China, will present work after different timespans spent at the residency. This round of artists comprises of versatile practices including painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, performance and has a special focus on the use of materials and the possible experimentations with textures, compositions and their interaction with space.

The upcoming preview exhibition “Space Chorus” at ‘Alte Handelsschule’ will present a selection of recent works of all residents after they spent one and a half months in the program. This exhibition will provide a unified aesthetic, aiming to combine all different disciplines in a curated, eloquent show. It is our goal to trigger and develop a dialogue, to propel a participative mandate between enthusiasts & artists and at the same time create a clean, structured aesthetical composition.