Monthly Archives: June 2019

Artist Spotlight: Jos Diegel

Jos Diegel is an artist of many facets. Interested in art as a catalyst for social change, he has immersed himself in different worlds with this very ethos as a binding thread. Through the years of his artistic practice since graduating from the University of Art and Design in Offenbach, where he focused on painting and film, he has honed in on his artistic and intellectual pursuits to create a rounded out practice all his own. At the core of his work stands a spirit of art and creation as an act of freedom and as a tool for resistance. He actualizes this philosophy through his own personal practice as well as several collaborative as well as educational efforts.

All of these efforts combine, although very different on the surface, to become a sort of signature style and workflow for Jos. His filming process is much like his approach to painting and community-oriented workshops – go with the flow and open as many boundaries as possible. By working with people from different disciplines Jos opens himself up to connecting perspectives and collaborating with a healthy dose of spontaneity and chance. As he succinctly and cheekily puts it – ‘I am not the best at anything, but I am the best at what I do’. In many way this is the self-empowering nature of Jos’ practice. Give people the tools and space for creating and they will create, ideally to the best of their ability.

By working in this mindset he takes his interest in film beyond filming shorts, documentaries and feature length narratives into a world of distortion and manipulation by playing with materials and process. In continuing his curiosity for film into more experimental realms Jos found himself playing with 35mm film by scratching and painting directly onto meters of film. This playful process turned into travelling for and organizing workshops in which participants engage in the same playful distortion. They find scenes, change them, recontextualize, add elements with paint and marker or scratch emulsion away with etching needles and other tools. The practice lends itself to play and experimentation and when spliced together and screened (ideally on a big screen in a theatre) it takes on a life of its own. Participants see their work linked to not only other participants but to major Hollywood production companies, old film strips found at flea markets or whatever random film strip is pulled from Jos’ bag of tricks on that particular day. In this way, the work becomes bigger than an individual person manipulating a few seconds of film. It becomes a group of people playfully subverting the normative ideals so often imposed on us by mainstream media and advertising. It becomes a new connection to past pop culture. It becomes a small yet powerful act of playful rebellion.

This idea is also carried through into Jos’ painting practice. While he paints and layers with color and texture in what he calls his solo practice, his current focus – and something we can look forward to in Pilotenkueche’s upcoming final exhibition – is overpainting on old landscape and portrait paintings found at flea markets. Although a completely different and equally vital part of Jos’ aesthetic, these two areas of interest and practice become inextricably linked. Not because they merely sprout from the same artist’s mind but because they share practical and theoretical elements while keeping a unique sense of process and style. They inform one another in a web of connection.

While Jos continues to expand his breadth of practice and interest in the function of society and the artist’s role in it, he will, undoubtedly, take us along for the ride. This inclusion of people from all walks of life and ages is a beautiful testament to how far his own work can reach and the people that it will speak to. We need only be present for a connection to emerge.

written by: Adrian Rötzscher

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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: Wrestling with Impermanence

One Greek myth tells the tale of the giant Antaeus, who had been granted a special power by his mother, the Earth. When anyone passed Antaeus’ land, he would challenge them to a wrestling match. If he began to lose strength, he had only to touch the earth and his  energy would be renewed. One day he was drawn into combat with the great hero Hercules. They fought and fought but Antaeus became no weaker. Finally Hercules discovering his vulnerability, grasped Antaeus, holding him high in the air, depriving him of his immortal gift, crushing him to death. Just as the Earth had once birthed Antaeus, she became the place in which he would finally decay.  

There is an intrinsic paradox evident at the heart of myth-making: the reality is forgotten so that the message can be remembered. The original story is always subsumed by the lessons that the teller wishes to convey. We learn the lessons of history but we forget history itself. Do we ever want reality or just a version of it that confirms our pre-held convictions? A myth is not a memory, and a memory is not the truth. Life is a series of events condemned to be mythologised or forgotten. Remember and re-imagine or forget and become extinct. 

‘Wrestling with Impermanence’ is an exhibition that marks the passing of time, records a present moment that will inevitably ascend into a memory, or perhaps a myth. The 14 artists of the 39th round of Pilotenkueche International Art Programme have spent the past three months engaging, exchanging and experimenting in the city. As the residency comes to an end the states of the permanent and fleeting are wrestled with.

The multifaceted notion of a cycle holds a strong voice amongst the artworks produced during the 39th round. Recycled materials are reverberant throughout the works, repurposing and reimagining  them to form new lives. Nature’s fruit acts as one of these recycled goods, whilst others use the sensations that the cycle of nature offers to draw inspiration. Time and history are also cycles reckoned with, some works only looking forward whilst others turn back. However, all artworks do hold one prominent commonality, their presence in the present. These works invite you to enter another cycle, one of remembering, or perhaps one of forgetting. 


all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Natural cycles dominate our existence; the harvest moon becomes the waning gibbous, the tide kisses the high water line morning and night, the hawthorn blossoms of early May become seed-laden berries poised to be pecked, digested and excreted: spread amongst the barren land, destined for germination when the warmth returns.

Like Antaeus, we ask the natural world for strength when we lose our power. We are living in a climate crisis. This is our reality and our future. The ice caps are melting, the great forests are being cut and burnt. Plastic is replacing sea life; monoculture is replacing diversity. The world is on its knees. This is our reality and not a myth. 

We must respond to the reality that surrounds us, and reflect the times that we live in. We must experience the present, in order to create the myths we may leave behind. We must embrace the natural cycle of impermanence, protect it and celebrate it.

So ask yourself. Mythologise, or forget? 

curatorial text by Clementine Butler-Gallie


Wrestling with Impermance

Vernissage Fri 21 June 7PM
Open Sat 22 June-Wed 26 June 1PM-5PM

Artists

International residents

Anabel Najera-Lopez (US)
sculpture
Coffee Kang (CH/US
installation
Cristina Prudente (IT/UK)
performance/installation
Daniel Long (KH)
projection mapping
Eliana Jacobs (CA)
video/installation
Izdehar Afyouni (PL)
painting
Jana Moser (AU)
painting
Kate Jones (US)
painting
Karine Fréchette (CA)
painting
Louis Bouvier (CA)
sculpture
Dominga Vergara (CL)
painting
Marijn Roos Lindgreen (NL)
installation/sculpture
Sabrina Jolicoeur (CA)
installation

Local Participants
Elisabeth Kraus (DE)
painting
Jos Diegel (DE)
painting

Curator
Clementine Butler-Galle (UK)

Assistants
Adrian Klaus Rotzscher (US)
book binding and creation
Ellisha Walkden-Williams (UK)
art history
Kristina Nizamova (CZ)
cultural event managment

Preview: Wrestling with Impermanence

Spring has turned into Summer, memories have been carved into the spirit of the season, and an abundance of creativity has blossomed along with the trees. The artists of PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program Round 39 are wrestling with the states of the permanent and the fleeting as they come to the end of their residency. As nature endures the cycle of time, the artists prepare to present their fruit, and as nature’s seeds disperse in the wind, so the artists get ready to grow elsewhere. In celebration of the time passed, we invite you to the PK space to join us for the final exhibition ‘Wrestling with Impermanence’.

In a further response to the notion of impermanence, the exhibition expands its presentation to the outside space for one night only. A conversation unveils between the interior and exterior space. In a series of performances by PILOTENKUECHE residents and guest artists we invite you to create your own memories. After an evening of seeing through the eyes of the artists, will your recollection match theirs or will your life experiences alter your perception?

“Do we ever want reality or just a version of it that confirms our pre-held convictions?”
Round 39 curator Clementine Butler-Gallie

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Round 39 residents Cristina Prudente and Daniel Long give us a physical representation of their work. Cristina live streams her performance into a space filled with objects from a nearby abandoned building. Her movements tell a story of love and loss, death and rebirth. Using projection mapping, Daniel allows us to become part of the piece by immersing us in the process.

Guest sound artists, Sébastien Branche and Vivian Le Vavasseur address the concept of impermanence by removing some of our senses. This allows us to heighten our awareness of others. In a tapestry of familiar and unfamiliar sounds that create a soundscape, Vivian uses a past career as a church organist to prompt listeners to question the roles of the composer, performer and audience.

Sébastien Branch notes, “Sounds commit suicide as they are played: as soon as they are born, they bear within them the inevitability of their own death. In that sense, music is possibly the art of impermanence, all the more for music that does not rely on melodic repetition, ritornellos or simple rhythmic patterns which help fix it in the memory.”

Jules Von Daniken will take us to the end the night in a full body experience with his original EDM. Wrestling with Impermanence will only happen in this constellation for one night. We are eager to share this memory making experience with you.

Wrestling with Impermance

Vernissage Fri 21 June 7PM
performances:
7.00PM-7.30PM Cristina Prudente
7.45PM-8.15PM Vivian Le Vavasseur
8.30PM-9.00PM Cristina Prudente
9.00PM-9.30PM Sébastien Branche
9.45PM-10.15PM Daniel Long
10.15PM-11.30PM Phase O’Matic

Open Sat 22 June-Wed 26 June 1PM-5PM

Artists

International residents

Anabel Najera-Lopez (US)
sculpture
Coffee Kang (CH/US
installation
Cristina Prudente (IT/UK)
performance/installation
Daniel Long (KH)
projection mapping
Eliana Jacobs (CA)
video/installation
Izdehar Afyouni (PL)
painting
Jana Moser (AU)
painting
Kate Jones (US)
painting
Karine Fréchette (CA)
painting
Louis Bouvier (CA)
sculpture
Dominga Vergara (CL)
painting
Marijn Roos Lindgreen (NL)
installation/sculpture
Sabrina Jolicoeur (CA)
installation

Local Participants
Elisabeth Kraus (DE)
painting
Jos Diegel (DE)
painting

Curator
Clementine Butler-Galle (UK)

Assistants
Adrian Klaus Rotzscher (US)
book binding and creation
Ellisha Walkden-Williams (UK)
art history
Kristina Nizamova (CZ)
cultural event managment