Monthly Archives: May 2019

Artist Spotlight: Karine Fréchette

Wide spectrum of bright colors, illusion of movement, complex composition with psychedelic elements – that what defines Karine’s Fréchette art work. Her art can be described as a blend of Op art from the 70s and abstract art, especially when it comes to the composition. Karine’s art practice is inspired by other artists such as Bridget Riley, Claude Monet or Frank Stella. One of her biggest inspirations is Czech abstract painter Frank Kupka and his visionary and mystic composition. When one comes closer to Karine’s paintings, they are almost hypnotized by the entrancing wave-like patterns.

I have a feeling I found my artist style by accident. It just happened. Somewhen during my masters I start to do those trippy, almost hallucinating imagines and then I just lost control”.


Karine is a Canadian painter, based in Montreal. The city itself had a big impact on her art work. Montreal has not only a long-time history of an abstract painting, but it is also full of contemporary art and blooming cultural scene. At the same time, while living there, you don’t see big names that often. Most of the famous paintings can be seen only on the internet. That’s where Karine’s interest in digital word, 3D modeling and scientific imagery comes from.


She chose Visual and Media Arts as a major for her Bachelors, which she studied at Université du Québec à Montréal. It was a multidisciplinary program, that combined video art, glass, painting, ceramic and other art techniques. “I got completely lost there. I didn’t know what I actually want to do. For a long time, I was really into video art and you actually can see a big impact of that on my current art. But then I decided to focus on painting”. Karine obtained her Master’s degree in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University.

Her artist path was pretty straight forward, as Karine never did anything else but art. She always felt that the most meaningful thing she could do is to paint. “To be honest first I thought it is impossible or even too ambitious to have pretensions to become a professional artist. But I just kept doing what I enjoyed. It took me some time to get the confident to say: yes, I am an artist and that what I do in my life”. In 2018 Karine won a Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting, which helps fund emerging Canadian painters who will live, create artwork and travel in Europe for 9 months. That’s how she found herself at Pilotenkueche residency in Leipzig.

Here Karine is trying to work with new materials and apply new techniques. Instead of traditional canvas, for the current exhibition she used slightly transparent fabric and neon colors to create an illusion of flowing waves which represent circles of life. As much as she likes Op art, she doesn’t really like to follow regular shapes. To achieve more organic lines, she just tore a piece of paper and used it as her shape. “Usually there is no plan or even a sketch beforehand. It is a pure improvisation. I like that these is always something between control and working blind. I think it is important to have a feeling that you are working a little bit blind even if its controlled”.

Despite the fact, that it has been almost 10 years since Karine started her artist career, she still keeps experimenting with her style and trying out new things. “Even though I know that my style is not going to change radically, I am really scared to stuck in one way of doing things, that’s why I always want to move forward”. After the residency at Pilotenkueche, Karin is planning on joining a long-term residency back in Montreal. One of her future plans is also to do a project in which she wants to interact more with the space and light and try to involve audience to discover her painting in a new way. Depending on where a visitor stands, he or she can see different dimensions and the drawing become something different.

written by Kristina Nizamova

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You can see Karine’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

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

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

Review: Elsewhere a Blue Line…

In the basement of an industrial power-plant in Kunstkraftwerk, visitors followed an imagined blue line through the murky labyrinth of exposed brick walls and blacked out spaces. In every corner there was a different narrative lurking amongst the shadows, just waiting to be told. Clementine Butler-Galle, round 39’s resident curator, begs the question  “Who defines a narrative?’ In Elsewhere A Blue Line And The Absurdity Of A Ghost On A Stone, she wanted to toy with our notions of storytelling. This idea was beautifully encapsulated in the exhibitions unique setting.

Anabel Najera-Lopez’s piece ‘Absence Presence’ told multiple narratives. Upon entering the second room the work sits strikingly under a spotlight. Flesh coloured fabrics morph together to portray a figural form, the reminisce spilling out to create a dramatic effect. Her work often explores notions of selfhood, however in this piece she considers collective identity. Her use of unwanted clothes, cumulated from the streets of Leipzig, tell the stories of past owners. Through the act of ripping the material apart and repurposing it, forgotten narratives converge to form a ‘new self’. 

Some artists explored their own narratives. Coffee Kang’s ‘The Star (part 3)’ is part of an ongoing mixed media project, displaying four wooden boxes. Each box represented a different city in which she has lived; Shanghai, LA, and Leipzig. Through the daily act of drilling holes into the wood, Kang explored the temporal faculties of place. 

Other artists evoked past narratives. In ‘She’s A Cult’, Izdehar Afyoui re-tells the historical portrayal of ‘Judith Slaying Holofernes’; a painting created by the early Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Through this direct re-imagining of male pain and anger in the realm of narrative art production, Afyoui sought to highlight similar contemporary paradigms of displacement with regard to the continued exclusion of women from artistic discourse. 

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Jos Diegal, one of our local residencies, too channelled an art historical narrative. In his piece ‘LOOSE FILM ANTHOLOGY IN TWO DIFFERENT STATES OF MATTER (MADE BY PEOPLE GATHERING AND ARMED WITH CELLULOID)’, Jos replicates the filmic reflexivity of the early cinematic avant-gardes. The spectacular sculpture comprised of used film strips which hung suspended from the ceiling, were displayed in conjunction to a series of projected film images. The film was manipulated by scratching and painting over it to create distorted static effects. Through the art of  anti-illusion and anti-narrative (a technique propounded by early Structuralist Film theorists), Jos seeks to challenge established conventions of cinema and its ideological underpinnings. 

In a similar critique of the technological apparatus, Daniel Long, who specialises in the art of ‘projection mapping’, created an inbuilt structure of suspended windows inside of one of the remains of the old industrial site. The windows contained an array of wires, circuit boards and other skeletons of technological parts. Upon closer examination, you see a projected image of two figures. The footage tells a dismal, though not too unfamiliar, tale of two lovers disconnected by ipads and smartphones in the modern world. Filmed from outside a living room window to create the voyeuristic impression of ‘looking in’, viewers are forced to watch the inevitable breakdown of the relationship in the story’s denouement. 

Every artwork in the space had a tale to tell. Kate Jones’ work conjured imagined narratives of psychedelic planes or demonic fairy kingdoms. Eliana Jacob’s evoked the narrative of a Nation in order to signify the importance of collective memory and remembrance. Jana Moser’s organic forms tell tales of the natural world. Christina Prudente played upon on poetic narrative, referencing Edgar Allan Poe ‘The Conqueror Worm’. Some dialogues existed less overtly in the temporality of the works production. Marijn Roos Lindgreen ’s piece, for example, which was produced from paraffin wax, told the story of ‘Becoming Solid’.

Overall, the night was truly one to remember. If you missed the vernissage, don’t worry. The exhibition is on until 2 June as part of the Kunskraftwerk experience. Each day two of the artists will be in the space to chat. This Saturday, 1 June, our curator, Clementine Butler-Galle, will be on hand for a Curatorial Tour.

Written by: Ellisha Walkden


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

Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Curatorial tour with Clementine Butler-Galle: Sat 1 June 11.30AM-12.30PM
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

In Progress: Elsewhere a Blue Line……

Where is elsewhere? What does a ghost look like? Who defines a narrative? The artists of Pilotenkueche’s 39th round invite you to abandon inhibitions and trust in the absurd, to find a new line of narrative. Join us for the opening of Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone to see what’s been cooking in the ‘Pilot’s Kitchen’. 

The Pilotenkueche residency is not just a space of creative production, but a laboratory for cultural exchange. The artists of this round have taken many different routes to Leipzig, with artists arriving from Cambodia, China, Montreal, and the Texas-Mexico border, to name just a few. As the studios have transformed from empty white boxes to inspiration-filled tanks, the conversations surrounding the works in production have become equally laden with thought. Since arriving, the artists have organized weekly discussion groups, workshops, and art theory reading sessions. The positivity of group exchange can be felt in the spring air of the studios and subsequently echoes through each of the works produced for the upcoming exhibition. 

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Our cultural understanding is often based on the narrative in which we are told, a narrative that in turn can define an age. But what if we find the narrative that surrounds us does not fit with the way we see the world? Then get off the blue line and head elsewhere! The labyrinthine basement of the Kunstkraftwerk, a brand new venue for Pilotenkueche, will become the stage for the upcoming exhibition. No artworks will hang directly on the old brick walls, yet every corner holds something to be discovered. When stepping into a maze, we don’t reject wrong turns or dead ends, but instead, awaken a sense of curiosity through our disorientation. Each artwork on show offers its own narrative, but only you can define the route in which to find it.


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)
35mm Filmworkshop with Jos Diegel Sun 19 June  2PM-4PM
Curatorial tour with Clementine Butler-Galle: Sat 1 June 11.30AM-12.30PM
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig


Artist Spotlight: Elisabeth Kraus

Sometimes the moral duty of the artist, whether conscious or not, is to wrestle with the soul of society and the pitfalls of human nature. Often we deal with larger issues by turning inward and examining our inner worlds. In this case, the inner world of current Pilotenkueche resident Elisabeth Kraus is rich with analysis, emotion and playful exploration. In the last few years she has been on a winding path led by intuition, pursuing art inspired adventures across the globe. Most recently this path has landed her in Leipzig, a burgeoning cultural hub.

Elisabeth’s inquisitive spirit seeps into her practice through the themes and motifs she engages in as well as through the mediums she experiments with. This means she is constantly analyzing and searching, always observing and at times simply waiting. Her works encompass themes of societal responsibility, nature and humanity, and human nature in some of its most extreme forms. The common thread that keeps her engaged is the power of empathy as a catalyst for change. The result of this mixture of inspiration and analysis is a broad spectrum ranging from sculpture and sound installation to conceptual pieces and performance, and, more recently, a return to painting. This all amounts to ‘creating a playground for all the senses’. This playground becomes the sensorial vocabulary through which Elisabeth communicates.

This kind of ‘playground’ also translates into a way of being. Through her extensive travels with an openness to surprise and a flexible sense of the meaning of home she has exhibited throughout Germany and has found a nurturing creative and social network in Beirut, where she connected with the Haven for Artists – a non-profit arts organization bolstering the underground art scene in Lebanon and the Middle East. At this safe space and residency she was able to settle a bit and create a meaningful network through which her art practice could thrive.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Several of the works that arise from Elisabeth’s idiosyncratic sensorial vocabulary take the form of interactive sculptural pieces. Most notably, a recurring project, are the small spheres she makes cast with an image of her face on them that fit snugly in the palm of one’s hand. They are meant to bounce around, move from hand to hand, and occasionally gaze into the participants eyes. The literal bouncing and transient nature of these balls becomes a direct metaphor for the nomadic lifestyle that Elisabeth has been living and all of the ups and downs that it entails. Many more of her works deal with more outward societal concerns. With the ways in which humans transmit knowledge and culture and how this is filtered, understood and absorbed.

During Elisabeth’s time with Pilotenkueche she will keep her spirit open to inspiration and continue investigating these recurring themes through her work while also experimenting with different media and processes. Upcoming, as well, is a collaborative sound installation piece on-site at Kunstraum Kesselhaus, in the artist’s hometown of Bamberg where she will be working with past collaborator and sound designer Paul Hauptmeier.

The expanse and depth of Elisabeth’s experimentation comes from a passion for knowledge, an openness of spirit and an inclination towards play. It is all of these traits that, when considered, become the portrait of a person looking for answers. Although certain questions may not be answered in the process, the right questions are being asked.

You can see Elisabeth’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: Kate Jones

Chains suspend a mattress from the ceiling. Paintings of pinks, purples and deep reds surround me. I am sitting in Kate’s studio. But don’t be fooled. They depict dystopian nightmares of sacrifice, torture and dark fairy kingdoms. Taxidermy, or ‘re-purposed dead matter’ as she calls it, is strewn amongst the chaos of paint and paint brushes. Kate’s atelier is an enclosed space of rampant creative exploration.

She begins to tell me about her interests in esotericism and occult mythologies. This often forms the basis of the subject matter of her work as well as influencing her methods of production. Kate tells me that her technique is indicative of automatism – a Surrealist term which denotes subconscious expression. Her paintings are often completed in a trans-like state in which she uncovers information from a more celestial source.

The South-Carolinian born artist spent most of her life back and forth from California, with the exception of completing her undergrad at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Describing her aesthetic as very ‘Californian Macabre’, she tells me how her work is influenced by her surroundings. She uses the term ‘Genuis Loci’- a shamanic term of Latin origins, literally translating to ‘the spirit of the land’.

Often undertaking research in the form of ‘field work’, so to speak, this then informs her practice, and at times, becomes part of the work itself. She tells me of some video work she created at the Isis Oasis Lodge in Northern California using an analogue camera. The old-cult is now a non-profit and an animal sanctuary which carries out Egyptian rituals and religious ceremonies devoted to the Egyptian goddess Isis.

She continues to tell me of another trip to the former home of Alistair Crowley at Abbey of Thelema, Cefalu, Italy. Crowley was a mystic and occultist, infamous for his school of ‘magick’ and semi-satanic rituals. The space was used as a commune by him and 5 other artists, who painted many disturbing images on the walls. In 1923 Mussolini expelled Crowley from Italy and the murals were to be painted over. But in the 1980’s an avant-garde occult filmmaker named Kenneth Anger stripped the walls to reveal the paintings once again. Kate painted her own work on the walls; describing the result as a kind of ‘astro- collaboration’ between Crowley, Mussolini, Anger and herself. ‘It was like a forgotten piece of art history which I asserted myself into’, she comments.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Most recently, Kate visited the town of Quendlinburg, which resides about an hour away from Leipzig, on the foothills of the Harz Mountains. The festival of Walpurgisnacht takes place every year during Beltane, or the Spring equinox. Folk magic and early modern witchcraft remains prominent in the cultural landscape of the region. Although she describes the festival as a kind of elaborate Halloween carnival, her work is highly indicative of the iconography of witchcraft, and it place within post-modern society.

Witchcraft is historically conflated with social deviance, promiscuity and anti-establishment. Today the complexities of gender politics are rifer than ever. With constant battles against social and institutional inequality, the notion of the witch has struck a chord with the modern woman. Kate is interested in exploring ways in which the archetype of the witch can be used to empower notions of femininity.

As the first group exhibition at Kunskraftwerk is rapidly approaching, what can we expect from Kate? Her work continues to explore the numinous realms of ritual and occultism through both painting and video work.  She’s also interested in exploring the ontological premise of her work. Stylistically, her painterly technique is quick, loose and expressive. She likens this with impermanence, forging a link between the temporal faculties of the art object with the decay of matter.

Now we know where the taxidermies come in.

Written by: Ellisha Walkden

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You can see Kate’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: Marijn Roos Lindgreen

Is the space rigid or rather plastic? Where is the border between inside and outside? What would happen if outside became inside and inside became outside? Those and many other questions are addressed by Marijn Roos Lindgreen, Netherlands based artist, in her sophisticated installations.

My work is focused on the immediate space, space that is directly around us. It’s something that happens all the time. It’s impossible not to be in the space. I am curious how you can influence this feeling of being in the space. When I come somewhere, I try to understand how I feel there. Then I try recreate this experience of a space in my art work”.  

Marijn comes from the field of architecture. After she finished high school, she was determined to do something creative, but at the same time technically orientated. Thus, Marijn obtained her Bachelor’s degree in architecture at Technical University of Delft. Later on, during her Master’s she specialized in Interior Architecture, which she studied at Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. “Architecture definitely had a big impact on my art work. It not only made me think of how people relate to space in general but also it made me more conscious about how I experience space myself”.

Although she really enjoyed studying architecture, Marijn felt that what she wanted to do was a little bit too crazy for this field. She was always more into constructing utopic and futuristic buildings rather than practical ones. Today in her art practice she combines theoretical concepts of architecture and philosophy as well as real life examples. Marijn likes working with figures and forms that we are all familiar with and using them in unusual, sometimes unexpected ways, but she also wants people to interact with her art within the space. For instance, in one of Marijn’s installations visitors were invited to go through doorways that had to evoke in them the feeling of entering the space without actually entering it.

Marijn also likes to play with different materials, starting from plexiglass, pigment, to sand and wood. The choice of materials depends on what fits best each project. In the upcoming exhibition she will be dealing with the topic of transparency and wax is going to be her main material. She chose wax for its flexibility but also for its temporality. “In my art practice I often work with the opposites. Therefore, I like materials that are both solid and breakable. I like to see how it can change over time”. During her residency at Pilotenkueche Marjin will be deliberating on how she can make something that can exist as a single object in a space.

It’s quite difficult to predict what the outcome will look like. Marijn belongs to those young artists who are still in process of discovering and experimenting with styles and techniques. “I would say I am still searching for my personal style. However, my work becomes more and more consistent with every project. Now I am more satisfied with the final result as it reflexes the initial idea I had in mind. Besides, I get a lot of positive comments on my art work from public lately”. Being an emerging artist, Marijn doesn’t yet know how your career will develop in the future. But one thing is for sure – she doesn’t want to be placed in the gallery or museum permanently. She prefers people encounter her work in more natural setting.

written by Kristina Nizamova

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You can see Marijn’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: Louis Bouvier

Louis Bouvier has been steadily building a world all his own. Based in Montreal, he takes influence from traditional culture, the natural world and design elements. He, then, matches and layers form as well as aesthetic preference from different time periods in a collage based process to see what emerges. The end result is an anachronistic harmony, a harmony achieved not only by fitting the right forms and concepts together, but through technical execution. His graphite and colored pencil renderings shine in a muted texture, pulling the eye in and keeping it wandering within the frame of the paper. This pushing forward of ideas and connecting of seemingly disparate elements from nature and culture creates a sort of time capsule within his works and, ultimately, a search for a common thread.

This all comes from a curiosity about the human experience, how can we distill so much input, inspiration, and sensorial stimulation into something that makes sense? Does the human experience have to make sense? Bombardment of visual language, advertisements, and screen time is what influences Louis’ curiosity. We can bend genres of music just as we can mix and match visual cultures and differing aesthetics. It is this playfulness that keeps Louis exploring.

This exploration began while attending the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he received his master’s degree in visual arts and media. Louis found time inbetween silkscreen printing and drawing to experiment with plaster, thinking more about sculpture and installation and how they fit into his fine illustrative style. This focus on form mixed with the concept of layering inherent to screen printing became a perfect conceptual starting point for the way Louis’ work has developed throughout the years.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

While Louis struggles, at times, with juggling different styles and an impulse towards change, he fits visual elements into his pieces in a fixed way that beautifully encapsulates his philosophy on art making in general – let things flow in an open manner and see what gravitates together, then allow them to create their own meaning.

During his residency at Pilotenkueche he will be expanding his visual vocabulary by sourcing images and forms not only from photographs that he has taken, but from sculptures and installations that he creates. In this way he can both make more focused and nuanced connections between his work and the outside world but between the works themselves. This also allows him to open up the spaces in which his works are displayed – by mixing sculptural and installation elements with more traditional feeling works on paper he allows space for the viewer to not be guided by circumnavigating the space but to let the eye wander and allowing the mind and body to follow. In this self-described ‘research mode’ he will be finding new ways of producing while using the techniques he has so adeptly honed in new and challenging ways. There are surprises within Louis’ work, and he wants you to find them, one need only look – with a little bit of curiosity.

written by Adrian Klaus Rotzscher

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See Louis’s work in his solo exhibition:

Stepping out of the Echo Chamber

Vernissage 31 May 2019 8PM
Open: Wednesdays til 19 June
Location: Helmut, Kohlgartenstr 51, Leipzig

and 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