Monthly Archives: April 2019

Artist Spotlight: Coffee Kang

Coffee Kang is an artist encompassing many different worlds, all moving and shifting seemingly under her feet but she takes it in stride. It’s all impermanent, all part of the process. Having moved from China to Los Angeles to complete a Masters in photo media from the California Institute of the Arts she is now based in Southern California where she focuses her body of work on varying situations – how do we change spaces, how do spaces change us and how does culture affect these changes? As she creates meaning through her work we are invited to ask our own questions: how does process inform meaning? What is the importance of performance in relation to achieving a specific goal? These themes come up in Coffee’s time-based works, and so much more.

As she navigates her personal narrative using photo media, video and primarily performance centered pieces, the temporality of the medium helps to inform her personal and cultural historicity while trying to connect to a grander whole. This fluctuation, or state of flowing, relates back to how we move in certain spaces and how our culture affects perception as well as physical space. In this connection comes an exploration of inherited culture, identity and the power of the individual within a system.

While Coffee’s work changes in form it is comfortably placed within a tradition of performance and process, ultimately landing somewhere in the conceptualization and activities of Fluxus. In this established mode of creating ‘process matters more than the result’. This is the crux of the meaning making. It is not about a product, or even some intangible end result. More important, here, is the journey in the making. The performance or action is not to achieve something but to do something.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE or courtesy of artist

These ideas are brought to life in her past works and performances, most notably in her temporal work The Funeral, wherein she performed a funeral for a previous piece. This work, titled Days in the Matchbox, was sentenced to death by a necessary move from her studio. In this way the artist created meaning out of a daily life stressor. She used the end result of moving out of her studio as a catalyst for meaning making through performance while reanimating an older piece for one final action.

In her seemingly permanent state of impermanence, or ‘current of changing’, Coffee Kang finds herself in Leipzig amidst a group of international artists all creating their own meaning within the context of the host city and more specifically within the Pilotenkueche artist residency. In this light the themes she works with can shine – they can flourish not by providing answers but by leading viewers and participants through the construction of purpose that happens within a group, within a new city, within the very process of critical thinking in both art making and art viewing.

In an attempt to explore her subconscious self, she will be looking to the stars that hang above Leipzig and the White Elster river that cuts through it. By connecting with the water flowing through the city she connects with all of the different bodies of water she has resided near, by connecting with the stars she connects not only to her inner self but to all of us that reside beneath them.

written by Adrian Klaus Rotzscher

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See Coffee’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows: 

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Artist Spotlight: Anabel Nájera-López


“I struggle to communicate properly with words. I keep to myself many thoughts and feelings. By creating sculptures, I am able to open a dialogue and be aware of my own subconscious. When the sculpture is finished or sometimes during the process, I feel the release of thoughts and feelings and find parts of me that I did not know before. I am not aware of my actions the whole time during the time of creating, but that is something even more exciting, to reach that point where I stop and everything makes sense for a few moments, and then the questions and curiosity emerge again.”

Mexican-American born artist Anabel Nájera-López was academically trained in painting and ceramics at the University of Texas, El Paso. Working predominantly with sculpture and in a figurative format, Anabel frequently uses materials traditional conflated with the traditional art of craft-making, notably clay. Her often fragmented portrayals of the human body undercut reality, without completely taking it away. Materials morph into flesh, the familiar regresses into the unknown. Through a continued exploration of material properties and modes of production, her work articulates a running commentary of the universal human condition, which conveys an on-going fascination with form and expression.

Her choice of ceramics; a medium historically confined to its utilitarian function, has long sparked debates regarding the status of craft in the world of contemporary art. Her work conveys temporality and duration implicit to the technical precision of making. She says “I like to show the process… marks, texture, fingerprints, brush strokes.” The finished product is inextricably bound with the process of fabrication and materials of production, often leaving tangible traces of its own evolution…

Always pushing the boundaries of her chosen medium, Anabel became fascinated by processes of construction and deconstruction. She describes her approach to ceramics as subtractive, starting with a block of clay and chiselling away in order to achieve her desired result. This led her to begin experimenting with deliberate kiln explosions, before piecing the fragments together again like a puzzle. 

photos by PILOTENKUECHE or courtesy of artist

Fiberglass proved much more difficult to control. She said that she was initially drawn to the material because of its aesthetic similarities with the pigments and texture of skin. She would use darker pinks to create shadows and stitch into the fabric in order to recall lumps and muscles; exploiting the visual properties of the medium in order to map out a fleshy, visceral materiality. 

Sculpture is inextricably tied to matter; through its physical production, its tactile nature and its historical conflations with figural representation. The very act of making in itself is a bodily process. Despite arming herself with protecting clothing, exposure to fiberglass can be incredibly toxic. The silvers would cut into her skin leaving her covered in splinters. The sculpture took over  one year to create. She tells me what is most interesting about the material is that it’s conventionally used to protect buildings in construction. Anabel uses this as a metaphor for the protection of the body; an intrinsic paradox given its harmful nature. 

Violence towards the body also becomes implicit in her treatment of the material, intending to represent unpleasant events that have transpired in her life. Fragmented body parts hang limply by a string, pieces put together again to make an artistic whole. Underlying psychoanalytic impulses in her practice become evident through processes of disfigurement and reconfiguration, beautifully symbolising subliminal trauma and psychological repair. 

Lastly, Anabel invites the viewer to reflect upon their own conceptions of the body, and draws light on the crises in pictorial representation. Aristotle viewed form and matter in gendered terms. While form was considered feminine, matter – on the other hand, was characteristically feminine.  Anabel’s sculptures are non-binary and work to transgress gendered hierarchies. When asked whether or not the ‘grotesque’ is a figure she endeavours to invoke in her work, she simply replies,

“I don’t think they are grotesque at all. I see them as normal bodies.”

What next? While in other countries people take their old clothes to Oxfam, in Leipzig people’s second hand goods can be found in abundance on the street. Anabel wants to work with found material and is currently sourcing unwanted fabrics to create her next sculpture. In doing so, she hopes to create something which is site-specific, while continuing in her on-going exploration of material forms.

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See Anabel’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Upcoming shows: Round 39

We are halfway through our first month of the 39th round and the artists are busy in the studios and on location. We are excited to invite you to see how their work is developing. 

Our first show this round “Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone” will be held at Kunstkraftwerk. This is our first time there and the artists are very inspired by the space and its conservation of original fixtures. This is a chance for them to do site-specific and custom works as a reaction. ‘In the face of facts we have to draw a line where none exists’ – Karl Jaspers, 1913.

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

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Round 39’s final exhibition “Wrestling with Impermanence”opens Saturday 23 March at Pilotenkueche International Art Program. The artists are again drawn to the architectural anomalies of our art space and hope to take advantage of the weather and create an indoor/outdoor vernissage. The outdoor portion will cease to exist after that night. As the artists of the 39th round of Pilotenkueche come to the end of their residency, the states of the permanent and fleeting are wrestled with. In celebration of the time passed, we hope to see you for the final exhibition 


Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

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PILOTENKUECHE INTERNATIONAL ART PROGRAM ROUND 39

International residents
Anabel Najera-Lopez (ceramics, painting: El Paso,Texas, USA)
Coffee Kang (visual art, mixed media installation: Altadena, CA, USA)
Cristina Prudente (multidisciplinary: IT/UK)
Daniel Long (painting, projection mapping: Saigon, Vietnam)
Eliana Jacobs (etching, objects, collage, conceptual: Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Izdehar Afyouni (painting, scultpture: Palestine)
Jana Moser (drawing: Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
Karine Frechette (painting: Montreal, Canada)
Kate Jones (Montreal, Canada
Louis Bouvier (drawing sculpture, installation: Montreal, Canada)
Maria Dominga Vergara (painting: Santiago, Chile)
Marjin Roos Lindgreen (architecture, installation: Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Sabrina Jolicoeur (photography, fibre art, installation, video, performance: Montreal, Canada)

Local Participants
Elisabeth Kraus(interdisciplinary; Leipzig, Germany)
Jos Diegel(painting, film, performance: Leipzig, Germany)

Curator
Clementine Butler-Galle( London, UK)

Assistants
Adrian Klaus Rotzscher (drawing, illustration, book making: San Francisco, CA, USA)
Ellisha Walkden-Williams (art history: London, UK)
Kristina Nizamova (arts management: Hostivica, Czech Republic)

Graphic Design
Adrian Klaus Rotzscher
Kristina Nizamova

Meet the curator: Clementine Butler-Gallie

Upon her arrival to Berlin, Clementine visited the ancient sculpture of Nefertiti. At once fascinated by the former Egyptian Queen, she would return to see it time and time again. Unearthed by a German archaeological company in 1924, the bust currently resides in Berlin’s Neues Museum. Up to this day, Egypt has demanded its repatriation – and to no avail. Now the statue stands as a symbol of colonialism, German cultural heritage and a commercial icon through its subsequent reproduction. From an art history perspective, this led her to contemplate enduring controversies surrounding issues of ownership and the westernisation of an image.  

She started to compile a personal archive of images and data, culminating in an overwhelming urge to showcase her findings. In 2016, she co-founded East of Elsewhere; a curatorial venture which began hosting independent exhibitions in the living room of her east Berlin apartment. After successfully curating their first salon, the collective would advertise their spare room for international artist residencies in exchange for a final exhibition at the end of their stay. They began hosting projects on behalf of artist-friends, including an emergency exhibition in retaliation to the growing momentum of the far-right AFD political party pre-German election. She said that it was all about ‘having that space’to exhibit and ‘using what we had in order to react to what was happening around us’.


photos by PILOTENKUECHE

Clementine studied history of art at Glasgow University and Christies Education, before working as a Gallery Assistant in London for two years. However, seduced by Berlin’s thriving contemporary art scene and experimental ethos, she decided to book a twenty pound flight with the intent to work more intimately with artists on a collaborative basis. ‘The gallery in London were a real family to me’, she says, but resolves that the art world in Britain’s cultural capital is naturally very commercially driven and somewhat elitist. She unapologetically admits that this posed a conflict with her romanticised notion of the artist, deriving from adolescent obsessions with the likes of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, the Bloomsbury Set, and their bohemian ways. Berlin’s cheap rent, along with its wealth of unused buildings left more room for creative output and artistic exchange. It was a scene of raw potential… an avant-garde wonderland.

Clementine continues to host exhibitions, talks and workshops ‘elsewhere’; including most recently a collaborative series in an old bank on London’s Brompton Road. She’s now based in Saxony’s boomtown, Leipzig. She’s eager to indulge herself in the city’s growing art scene with its recent influx of artists and emerging wealth of undiscovered spaces. Taking on Pilotenkueche as the next curator of the program, she’s particularly excited for the first group exhibition, which will be held in the basement of an old power-plant at Kunstkraftwerk.

Curatorially, she is looking forward to embracing the challenges that come with presenting multiple artworks beyond white walls. She’s particularly interested in exploring ideas of interior and exterior space and challenging traditional conceptualisations of the exhibition form. She doesn’t view narrative as singular or linear and hates to see an exhibition as the final product, but rather a laboratory where dialogues unfold… a testing ground for development and experimentation.

written by Ellisha Walkden

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Clementine will be curating the following shows for Pilotenkueche International Art Program

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone

Vernissage: Sat 18 May 2019, 7PM
Open: Sun 19 – Fri 31 May 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig


Wrestling with Impermanence

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

Julianne Csapo is PK’s new Administrative Director

PK is happy to announce that from round 40, Julianne Csapo will replace Martin Holz as Administrative Director. When she talks about Pilotenkueche, Julianne’s eyes light up. “I”ve known about PK for almost 10 years now. I’ve always followed it with curiosity because it´s a special place. It´s so necessary for artists to find such a active and activating surrounding.“ 

Julianne is referring to an “active surrounding” in the way that Hannah Arendt talks about in her book, The Human Condition. In the 1958 publication, Arendt distinguishes three sorts of human activities: labor, work and action. Action is the means by which we distinguish ourselves from others as unique and unexchangeable beings. “I always thought she was speaking about artists!“ Julianne laughs. ” A surrounding that provides action in this sense is rare. And it is so essential for artists because of all the suffering and fears they usually have to face. I’ve always tried to realize a place where art happens, not only where pieces are produced.“ 


photos by PILOTENKUECHE or courtesy of artist

Currently Julianne runs a fantastic group atelier that hosts events, like performances, exhibitions or talks by outside artists. During her studies in the class of  prof. Ulrike Grossarth, she participated in organizing several events that had a large impact in the city.

Julianne was born in Bucuresti, Romania and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. A true European, her family heritage includes four nationalities and her upbringing, a mix of Judaism, Catholicism, Communism, Atheism and science. This clash of belief systems and cultures made her see very early how inspiring it could be to bring different people with diverse backgrounds together.

We look forward to seeing the direction Pilotenkueche will take under Julianne’s leadership. PK says welcome!


 

Tschüssi RD 38, Hallo RD 39

It’s never the easiest thing to do, saying goodbye. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of a residency program and it happens every three months. At that point, there’s no way of knowing who will stay in contact and who will just become part of a wonderful memory. We want to wish round 38 the very best and we bet we’ll see them again. So much love and energy, it seems like that’s a safe bet.

Meanwhile, here are a few memories to cherish til then.

And as the rhythm of the cycle continues, we start the third week of Round 39. Time goes so quickly, especially during the first two weeks. We have already started getting to know them and they are proving to be diverse and cohesive group.

Exhibition venue KKW: check. Welcome BBQ: check. Stasi Museum: check. MdBK: check, Artist presentations: check. Exhibition titles: check.

Here’s a peak at the newbies in action.

ReView: Fast Kotzen

Binge. Purge. Project. Scatter. Gather. Reorder. Repeat.

Round 38’s final show, Fast Kotzen, was not just another version of their Unfinished Hase work. You possibly recognized the signatures. Given space to expand, you definitely could see the growth. Best of all, if you left without a physical experience, it was your own fault.

There were people lined up at Valentine’s photo booth most of the evening. Instead of a camera, there were various artists inside. People were going back to create a collection of portraits in different styles. Atsuko’s floating room had people searching for stability from within. That’s the only thing they really had control of, as the floor and all the objects in the room were independent and had no connection to the ground.

People lounged behind the purple strings on Izzy’s cushion as they watched an alternate reality. Others crowded into the dark to have their stomach churn as Tomas’ TVs took them to channels they didn’t necessarily want to see. Ludmila’s mattress was never empty, nor were the people using it.

The experiences were not a carnival. They had messages attached to them, as did the works of the other artists. In her curatorial text, Tena Bakšaj drew parallels to  German philosophers Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.  In our  current world situation, she sees little change from their post WW2 observations on social domination.

The 38th round of Pilotenkueche International Art Program brings together 16 emerging artists that share a similar sensibility directed towards multi-layered social and cultural structures. Engaged in various topics, their approach can primarily be described as analytical, as most of them reflect on the social character of contemporary art in their practice and thus in a way deal with the question whether or not art can contribute to the transformation of this world.

If art can transform the world, surely the artists of Fast Kotzen are up for the challenge. It may be a long time before their work can affect actual change, but for sure it affected people’s experiences in the short term.


Fast Kotzen

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Performance: Twin Effect

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

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: Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada)

Jose Sarmiento
(Painting, drawing, etching: Bucaramanga, Colombia)

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

Marloes Staal
(Sculpture, photography, drawing: Enschede, Netherlands)

Ludmila Hrachovinova
(Painting: Bratislava, Slovakia)

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)

Interns

Ciara Brown
(Fine art, multimedia: Birnley, UK)

Maria Maceira
(Art history: A Estrada, Pontevedra, Spain)

Samra Sabanovic
(Photography: Helsinki, Finland)

Mihyun Maria Kim
(Painting, drawing: Edmonton, Canada)