Monthly Archives: February 2019

Artist spotlight: José Sarmiento

Affection, tension and violence are the dramatic narratives in which José Sarmiento’s paintings capture the viewer. Just as in his work, so do in his life, extremes converge and coexist: in the works of this positive and calm but ambitious person every hint of tranquility disappears.

Being a painter was not an aware decision. Our Colombian artist is drawn to painting and its communication abilities: a communication cut-off from the verbal.

“You don’t think with words, but through painting. It is another way of thinking, deepest; based on the materials and the body”.

According to Sarmiento, there is a space between what you expect to do, and how you redirect it into action, over which you have no control. “Between these two phases there is a huge space, that of direction and loss”. In this way, there is a meeting of the conscious with the unconscious.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Between passion and calmness, the constant in José is creativity. Being a confluence of diverse facets and states himself, his artistic work is the result of the infinite artistic concerns that nourish his vision. Within his painting he brings an insightful and intelligent perspective, suggestive connections between literature and cinema, and a contagious enthusiasm that leads him to declare “how chévere art is”. His painting is a clash of all disciplines he loves: he thinks of his projects as a narrative. He takes a moment of an event and expresses it in the purest Baroque style.

There is a strong presence of homosexuality. His works show two bodies longing for devouring oneself affectionately. It exposes the blurred boundaries of the body during sex, showing the animal part of the male body. In its outline there is room for biographical and fantastic. The fantasy of homosexuality, due its historical existence as something forbidden and hidden, José sees as something magical.

The rise to imagination is given. Before and after is the receptor’s choice. To get to this point, he recollects images firstly. He chooses the materials that best fit and starts working on it, with pastel colors and transparency paper being his favorites. His artistic process is based on contemplation, thinking, and subsequent execution. Even so, he is inspired by rapid processes; José does not give opportunity to boredom.

In Cain, Abel, one of his exhibitions, he was showing a confrontation of opposites: works of different resources in perfect connection. In it, he set up a discourse based on differences. Something like the artist’s own metaphor.

One of his greatest inspirations is the German choreographer Pina Bausch, one of the pioneers of dance theater. The idea of ​​repetition and liberation of the movement seduced José. But above all, the philosophy that Bausch safeguards: the constancy that leads to ease. That hypothetical spontaneity of the dance, in the words of Sarmiento, is due to the continuous repetition and its poetic truth.

He was dazzled by Germany’s pictorial history, both expressionism and contemporary painting. From Leipzig and Pilotenkueche he hopes to learn from everybody in the residency and to be nourished by the external artistic process. From himself José expects to generate empathy with the public and transmit his inner message through that particular communication: painting.

Written by María Valcárcel

Come and see Jose’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
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

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En José Sarmiento conversan y conviven los extremos: la persona, positiva y tranquila pero ambiciosa, quiebra en una quieta armonía la obra, donde todo atisbo de tranquilidad desaparece. La narración drámatica en su pintura capta al espectador a través del afecto, la tensión y la violencia.  

Ser pintor no fue una decisión consciente; simplemente empezó a hacerlo y se convirtió en su medio predilecto de expresión. Nuestro artista colombiano se siente atraído por la pintura y sus capacidades comunicativas: una comunicación alejada de lo verbal. “No piensas con las palabras, piensas a través de la pintura, es otra forma de pensamiento más profunda; a partir de los materiales y del cuerpo”. Según Sarmiento, hay un espacio entre lo que esperas hacer (las expectativas), y en cómo las rediriges al movimiento, sobre el que no tienes control. “Entre estas dos fases hay un espacio enorme, el de dirección y pérdida”. De esta forma, hay un encuentro de lo consciente con lo inconsciente.

Entre la pasión y la calma, la constante en José es la creatividad. Siendo él mismo la confluencia de diversas facetas y estados, su obra artística es el resultado de las infinitas inquietudes artísticas que nutren su visión. Con su pintura aporta una mirada perspicaz e inteligencia, sugestivas conexiones entre literatura, cine y pintura, y un contagioso entusiasmo que le lleva a declarar “lo chévere que es el arte”. Su pintura es el choque de todas las disciplinas que ama: piensa en sus proyectos como una narración, coge un momento, un encuentro y lo plasma al más puro estilo barroco. Hay una fuerte presencia de la sexualidad y la homosexualidad. Por lo general muestra dos cuerpos donde hay un anhelo por devorarse afectivamente. Muestra los límites difuminados del cuerpo durante el sexo, mostrando la parte animal del cuerpo masculino. En su trazo hay cabida para lo biográfico y lo fantástico. La fantasía de la homosexualidad,  por su histórica relación con lo prohibido, lo oculto, para él volcado en la magia.

Mientras los espectadores salivan por conocer el final de la historia, José toma un único extracto de su narración interna para dar pie a la imaginación. El antes y el después es a elección del consumidor. Para llegar a este punto, recolecta imágenes. A partir de ellas escoge los materiales que mejor se ajusten y empieza a trabajar sobre ello, siendo los colores pasteles y el papel de transparencia sus favoritos. Su proceso artístico se basa en la contemplación, en el pensamiento, y posterior ejecución.  Aún así, le inspiran los procesos rápidos; José no da oportunidad al aburrimiento.

Caín, Abel, fue una de sus 4 solo exhibition. Ésta fue la confrontación de los opuestos: obras de diferentes recursos en perfecta conexión. En ella, configuró un discurso a partir de la diferencia. Algo así como la propia metáfora del artista.

Una de sus mayores inspiraciones es la alemana Pina Bauch, una de las pioneras de la danza teatro. La idea de repetición y liberación del movimiento sedujo a José. Pero sobre todo, la filosofía que salvaguarda Bauch: la constancia que lleva a la soltura. Esa hipotética espontaneidad de la danza, en palabras de Sarmiento, se debe a la continua repetición y a su verdad poética.

De Alemania le encandiló su historia pictórica, tanto el expresionismo como los pintores contemporáneos. De Leipzig y de Pilotenkueche espera aprender de las personas que residen con él, tener otras perspectivas y nutrirse del proceso artístico externo. De sí mismo, busca generar empatía con el público y transmitir su mensaje interior a partir de esa comunicación tan particular: la pintura.

Written by María Valcárcel

Artist Spotlight: Isabelle Kuzio

“I’ve got seven fly swatters, if you need one.” Isabelle allows herself to take part in buying as a form of research, an ironic response to her concerns in consumer culture and economic theory. Other things which occupy Izzy’s studio space: slime, croc shoes, glittery rubber cockroaches, a bicycle helmet, a collection of shiny fabrics and other apparently misplaced items. Each day as she enters the studio with her industrial sized bag over her shoulder, I am curious to discover which playful objects are gathered inside. Perhaps an unintentional performance in itself.

Collecting is a part of the process. Izzy’s archive of objects has been gathered over time, some of them new shiny objects bought here in Leipzig, others having travelled with her from Edmonton, Canada – her home town. When she buys an object, she is often not sure what they will become.

“Sometimes I have an object for years before it becomes a part of my art” explains Izzy.

Though, after a month of gathering items in her studio at Pilotenkueche, Izzy had founded a pattern of function in some of the objects. Each were an extension of the body. Objects to be worn, carried, held, used by the self. This realisation brought Izzy back to the question; How do we consume, wear and own objects with the desire to be perceived in a certain way?

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

“KUNST BRINGT ERKENNTIS – ERIK ERKENNT.” Erik, a six year old boy, is overwhelmed by Izzy’s installation in the Unfinished Hase vernissage. A humorously oversized charm bracelet, placed on 2×2 metre satin cushion: the room’s assertive kiss of kitsch. After experimenting with painting some of her gathered objects silver, Izzy was reminded of jewellery. Jewellery is something precious which we wear with the hope to be admired and desired.

In particular – charm bracelets. They, themselves, a symbol of Izzy’s practice of collection. “Charm bracelets are really personal as you chose what’s on them, but you only have the cliché symbols to chose from.” But her charms do not fit that of the cliché symbols. Izzy’z charms are playfully recreated from her miscellaneous items; a flipper rebranded with a heel and diamante embellishment, a sponge hulk hand with a glamorous manicure holding a smart phone, a personified croc shoe, wearing braces.

It is evident in her surreal creations that Izzy is inspired by sci-fi movies of the 70’s with her irreverent hints to a dystopian future. She speaks of the acceleration of technology, and how it has changed our relationship to everyday objects whilst allowing us to secure our humanic positions in the world.

Technology has enabled us to be more stable when it comes to fighting the unexpected wraths of nature, but when everything is made available to us with new technologies, do humans become a resource: Human capital, in which we become defined by what we provide. And maybe the most extreme form of accelerationism – a world in which humans have become obsolete.

All of the above being ideas that loom over me, as I leave my conversation with Izzy. When asked if she has any ideas of what she will create for Fast Kotzen, her next group exhibition at Pilotenkueche, Izzy explains that she will continue to explore the term Self-objectification. “I wanna do some crazy special FX make up,” she claims. Maybe a zombie, maybe a Bratz Doll. She wishes to take the focus away from her collected objects, and instead shine a light on how we self-aestheticize ourselves to become the object.

Written by Ciara Brown

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Come and see Izzy’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
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

In progress: Unfinished Hase

Unfinished Hase questions familiar everyday elements and turns them on their heads.  Come and get a glimpse into the unfinished processing of ideas, methods, and dialogues of the PK artists of round 38 as individuals and as a whole.

Only a couple of days into the new year, 16 artists, four assistants and one emerging curator arrived from the four corners of the world. As PK tradition has it, they gathered in the warmth of the studios to chose titles for the two shows for this round. This was the first task they completed as a group and it was a daunting one since they don’t know each other yet. It came when one is trying to adjust to a new home, new studio, and new group.  Some names were chosen based on the sound, some by their meaning, but as always, the two exhibition titles were selected by vote.


all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Now, halfway through the three month residency, we invite you to the first of two exhibitions by round 38, Unfinished Hase. Throughout art history, the hare has been a symbol with various mythological meanings, depending on the context of culture and beliefs. One such meaning is that of artist. Driven out of the comforts of familiarity, our resident artists have worked hard for the last six weeks to situate themselves in the given circumstances of the city, the studio, and the people around them.  With the varying art practices, the objects, the materials and dialogues, the organic turned constructed; the constructed a playground; the playground violent; the violent a part of nature; the nature mirroring we humans; the humans painted; the painted distorted; the distorted controlled; and the controlled released into the subconscious and symbolic.  


written by mihyun maria kim

Unfinished Hase


Vernissage:  
15.02.19, 19h
Performance 20h:
Eliana Jacobs and Dilara Womens Choir (Choir Director: Walbuga Walde)
Performance 21h:
Eliana Jacobs and Ben Osbourn


Open:  
16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 
23.02.19 19h
Location: 

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

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International residents

A L Kleiner 
(Painting, Installation; Sydney, Australia)

Amanda Struver 
(Interdisciplinary:Syracuse, NY, United States)

Ana Castillo 
(Illustration, Painting, Animation: Paris, France)

Atsuko Mochida 
(Installation, Site-specific Installation, Public Art : Tokyo, Japan) 

Ece Canguden
(Painting, Sculpture: Istanbul, Turkey)

Eliana Jacobs 
(Etching, Objects, Collage, Conceptual: Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Isabelle Kuzio
(Video, sculpture, painting, installation: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Jose Sarmiento
(Painting, Drawing, Etching: Bucaramanga, Columbia)

Charles Park
(Photography: New York, NY, US)

Marloes Staal
(Sculpture, Photography, Drawing: Enschede, Netherlands)

Ludmila Hrachovinova 
(Painting: Bratislava, Slovakia / Stockholm, Sweden)

Roman Bicek
(Painting, Collage: Bratislava, Slovakia)

Tomas Orrego Gianella
(Video, Installation, Collage: Lima, Peru)

Valentine Emilia Bossert
(Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video, Installation: Geneva, Switzerland)


Local Participants

Henrike Pilz 
(Mixed Media; Leipzig, Germany)

Paul Altmann 
(Conceptual Art, Photography, Video, Installation: Leipzig, Germany)


Curator

Tena Bakšaj 
(Zagreb, Croatia)

Assistants

Ciara Brown
(Fine Art, Multi-media: Burnley, UK)

Samra Šabanović 
(Photography, Visual Culture: Helsinki, Finland / Sarajevo, B&H)

Maria Valcarcel Maceira 
(Art History: A Estrada, Spain)

Mihyun Maria Kim 
(Painting, Drawing; Toronto, Canada)

PK Artistic Director and Coordinator

maeshelle west-davies
(Performance, Time-based media, Installation: US/UK/DE

Artist spotlight: Henrike Pilz

Henrike struggled not to be an artist. As a daughter of a woman painter, she was aware of the problems of being a woman artist. Studying history was a compromise, and it did not make her happy. Finally, this German made up her mind to become what her body asked for. Her artist career commenced with realistic painting, which she finds as a “pure imitation, a matter of practice, you don’t need to think”. As this became insufficient, she researched the historical movements and aesthetics to discover her own voice.

Painting in her life is an impulsive act and way to clear out her thoughts. When in act, she enters into a trance where thinking becomes easier. Henrike is inspired with the pictorial process itself where she thinks not only with her hands, but where her artwork is also intuitive.

Cy Trombly, Joseph Beuys, Silvia Baechli, Marcel Duchamp; the main sources of influence for Henrike Pilz are evident when looking at her work. She is attracted to art concepts and changing state of mind through art; primarily her own and hopefully awareness of the public. Not far away from working led by intuition, Pilz wants her vision to stay focused on the concept.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Ever since she was a child, her mind was full of ideas and questions. Finally, the grown up child took the path of the research, providing a way for the curiosity to be shared. One of her purpose is to make art for the society as a place for empathy.

When the idea comes, Henrike feels that something is sprouting within her. The only way of inspiration is having time for herself. In a Pollock-style, Pilz takes the ground as her canvas and blends the colors from different color cans which are her primary tools. Whilst she uses this instrument to display her interior world, the whole process is developed in a slow way of repetitive looking and painting. The main tool is the can, the second is the paint brush reserved for the details. The constant in this process is the frankness and clarity.

The artist is not working only in this medium. In 2016 a documentary movie “XXS – decompose, a strategy”, made by Henrike and her team, was released. It was about the DDR- System. The country, the socialism east Germany in times of the iron curtain. The movie was based on interviews with four people talking about their personal lives.

Contrary to the institutional idea of having idols instead of artists, the real success for Henrike is to develop herself through art, to be comfortable with herself and have a peaceful mind. Impressing and inspiring people with her abstract paintings would be yet another success.

Written by María Valcárcel

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Come and see Henrike’s works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Performances: from 20h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
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: Eliana Jacobs

Passing behind the translucent curtains, we enter in Eliana’s studio. The curtains mimic what is taking shape behind them: this place condenses Eliana’s thoughts. In the words of Virgina Woolf in “A Room of One’s Own”, Eliana takes the room for her own fruitful place of creation. Subtlety, calmness and awareness; these are the constants in her vision. However, her peace is intermingled with one of the unknown passions. Secretly being a metalhead, she admits that there are ironic connections to her reflective and contemplative art.

Belonging to a Jewish family, she went to a course focused on traditional Jewish art where she discovered papercutting. This practice became part of her work due to its meditative and tactile qualities. Since then, she has used this technique as a manner of appreciation of the Jewish culture, her own history and as a tool for self-examination.

The grandchild of three Holocaust survivors and the great-grandchild of victims murdered by the Nazis, Eliana has decided to research the Holocaust for her artwork. She has grown up experiencing the inter-generational effects of this historical trauma.

The project that she is doing in Pilotenkueche is called Re-Emergence. It examines the re-growth of plants on the sites of former concentration camps. This project incorporates research about the histories, constructions, and locations of the camps, in addition to contemporary protocols for the preservation of the sites. With the research she will produce a series of papercut-collages inspired by her findings. Among the layers of meaning of this project, she asks the question:

How can we allow plants, forest, and natural landscape reclaim their territories whilst not letting them conceal the atrocities that occurred on that same land?

All photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Eliana is a very multi-faceted individual with a thirst for a complete experience. This lead her to, among other things, gymnastics. Not being a tough competitive person, she decided to give up on gymnastics lessons and find another love- the circus. She finds circus a perfect platform for artistic self-exploration and analysis of the movement and body. Her purpose in development is to incorporate the circus with the rest of her art practices.

Eliana’s path to art was somehow a parental influence. As a 2-year-old, her mother introduced her to art of Monet. Later she would listen to Bach with her father. As an art history graduate, accumulated knowledge and interest in Medieval art, Baroque, Impressionism would later influence her practice.

Whilst conversing with Beau Dick [a Kwakwaka’wakw (North-West Coast Indigenous) hereditary chief and artist] about relevance of language, and its relationship with culture, she was asked, “And you, do you speak your language?” This was the moment she realized that her inability to speak Yiddish distanced her from her own culture. Soon after, she began creating research-based art about her family and Jewish history.

Eliana defends art as a irrefutable educative instrument, where old knowledge is unlearned, and new intertwined. This artist devotes a lot of time in her day to thought. In her universe between the curtains, every little detail has its reason to be. Her method of working is based on repeated reflection and contemplation. Rather than giving answers, she poses questions to the viewer. These questions are not to be answered necessarily, but considered. Dialogue, contact, spreading tolerance and cultural diversity are some of her own personal answers, at least.

Currently, she is collaborating on a music project with Ben Osborn (Jewish, UK based in Berlin). With his electronic music background and her classically trained voice, they are reinterpreting traditional Yiddish songs into the contemporary. We are pleased to have them perform at the vernissage of Unfinished Hase, 15 February at Alte Handelsschule.

In Leipzig in general and in Pilotenkueche in particular, Eliana is eager to keep the research alive and open, with the aim to get closer to understanding present occurrences, and keep finding out who she is.

And you, would you also like to see through the curtain?

Written by María Valcárcel


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Come experience Eliana’s performance and other works in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Performances: from 20h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
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: Ece Canguden

Plastic objects seduce Ece on her every day walk. When one proves to be desirable, she takes it back to her studio. There, she transforms it into organic forms, building multiple layers by adding and distorting, playing with fire and water, pushing and pulling with her hands.  

Ece studied to become an architect. Years of working in an office under strict guidelines and balancing symmetric square forms created the need to have an outlet where she could have complete control. She began to work more intuitively, playing with materials, creating organic shapes and natural colours. She started to paint abstract spaces resembling cosmic explosions and dark holes.

The dark uncomfortable matter peaked her interests- the insides being exposed into the outer layers, showing a depth, the hidden, the deep mystery, like a secret slowly being revealed:  something curious that uncomfortably exists, seeming not to belong. The state of the people back home in Turkey, she explains, is that one cannot easily show emotions or reactions to current political events.  This bottling up, holding in fear and anger has created a visible uncomfortable state.

 all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

“Weird!” is what we call something that seems wrong or should not exist, not here anyway.  Mark Fisher’s book, The Weird and The Eerie, influences Ece’s perspective on the state of her nation and of individuals, but she knows how to balance it out, between the serious and playful. She knows when to allow thoughts in and when to keep them out. She has a fascination for the body, especially the mouth- where things enter and are then digested- and the eyes that take in all that is in front of them and which also signifies being watched.

In her studio, in Leipzig, she has gathered more toys than usual. The colours of the objects have transitioned from black to red and now to pink, resembling flesh and all its connotations.  She plays with the colour and layers a certain level of sexuality through the use of feminine forms without being obvious. The use of something playful and something dangerous, working through control and with chance, perhaps comes from her Gemini spirit.

Chance and Coincidence take on key roles in her process, and throughout the next couple of months, Ece will continue to test the limits. How far is too far for her materials? At what point does her manipulation rob them of their essence? Do the objects of the city gain from being part of the greater cosmos Ece is creating? How will she be influenced by her peers in an open studio environment and the personal exploration of all that she discovers?

written by mihyun maria kim

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Come and see what Ece creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
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