The project ‘PILOTENKUECHE’ supports artists and is an international art program based in Europe’s boomtown Leipzig, Germany. The independent project is organized by artists for artists. The fully renovated 465m² studio is located in an old barbed wire factory in the city’s new underground artistic quarter: Leutzsch. While PILOTENKUECHE has been ready for artist use (including underfloor heating) for more than a year, the building itself is still undergoing renovation. With its exposed brick. large windows and high ceiling, this industrial environment allows for creative output that might not be realized elsewhere.
The team operates with a trans-disciplinary background between art & theory. The goal is to provide artists with a base to work from, and acts as a conduit to the local art scene. The project offers a diversity of programs and invites selected artists from around the world as well as handpicked local participants. While international residents come to work at the fully remodeled studio space for a period of three months, local artists are selected to participate on the artistic program. Each accepted artist is offered a stipend, provided by ‘PILOTENKUECHE’. During the programmed events, our studio becomes an exhibition venue. Our concept strives to create a communal space for experimental collaboration and discourse between participants, as well as with the greater Leipzig community.
The project provides a range of programs, aiming to connect and engage different disciplines. Each category of our art program coalesces during a 3 months period, after which we realize a collaborative exhibition. Between international & local artists, curators & enthusiasts, the programs we offer are:
- International Residence Program
- Local Participants Program
- International Internship Program
- Emerging Curator Program
The PILOTENKUECHE philosophy is focused on an interest of exchange through group dynamics, experimental strategies and trans-disciplinary ethos. The kinetic dialogue in a group of participants influences each to experiment in their art, ideas, approaches and methods. PILOTENKUECHE wishes to provide our participants with the experience of accomplishing something as a group, and moreover, in experimenting with new forms of cooperation which are vital in fostering an independent position in one’s work. This leads to an intensive dialogue about individual ideas and working practices, binding the participants temporarily within the group, which leads to a long-term network that exists even after the program is over.
Our program is a multifaceted. In participating in our program, each artist participates in external studio visits and gallery tours. The artist also partakes in an artist talk to further clarify their position, a preview exhibition or open studio event presenting initial work (which takes mid-way through the program) as well as scheduled consultations, culminating in a final group exhibition. The primary languages in use are English and German.
In organizing and running this project, it is the main goal of the members of PILOTENKUECHE to offer a platform that encourages dialogues and exchange about artistic practice from different people, coming from different places, and working in different techniques. Previous rounds have been broad in scope and concept, ranging from activism to architecture, and including disciplines such as design, media arts, drawing, film, installation, intervention, literature, painting, performance, photography, print making, sculpture, and others. PILOTENKUECHE wishes to provide our participants with the experience of accomplishing something as a group, and encourages experimenting with new forms of cooperation.
The mandate of PILOTENKUECHE intersects with the climate of the city as a whole, and we encourage our residents to explore its unique community. We offer one guest apartment, situated near the studio. The apartment is fully equipped and all inclusive. It houses two artists at a time, and is located near the studio in the Lindenau district. Otherwise, there are many options for housing, which also becomes a way for residents to engage with locals. ‘PILOTENKUECHE’ is housed near Lindenau, a lively district where locals often converge for concerts, flea markets, art openings, Volxküchen, and at underground venues belonging to an ‘off space’ scene. Leipzig is also internationally recognized for the HGB art academy, The New Leipzig School, as well as the ‘Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei’, around which dwell several galleries, collectives, and independent studios. Given the affordability of the city, its proximity to Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague and Paris, and a dynamic freiraum culture, Leipzig has become a cultural focal point, where alternative art practices converge. The east side of Leipzig has also become a central hub for emerging artists and subsequently, an underground art scene. It is the ambition of ‘PILOTENKUECHE’ to engage the artists with this city and within the group. New residents often come across former participants, some of which attend our public events. In many ways, ‘PILOTENKUECHE’ is an international airport, and in many cases, our residents have decided to remain in Leipzig.
The basic guidelines of the project PILOTENKUECHE consist of the following points. They can transform within the project, depending on the interests of the participants:
The concept PILOTENKUECHE can change. It’s open to new ideas and views – and is thus open to transformation. It is constantly changing, and in this way the overall concept PILOTENKUECHE is re-evaluating itself and learning.
PILOTENKUECHE is an independent artist in residence project. The basis of the program is to give international and local artists a platform and network.
The goal of the program is the promotion and support of residents & guests. We are not interested in commercial marketing.
So the platform PILOTENKUECHE centers only upon artistic and cultural content – not on market based ideas and approaches.
Thus the idea PILOTENKUECHE operates only on the base of charitable approaches and is a room for art, artists or corresponding disciplines.
The room PILOTENKUECHE puts emphasis on synergistic group dynamics, experimental strategies and trans-disciplinary exchange. Individually and as a collective enterprise, there emerges a space for changes of personal practice and approach.
The room PILOTENKUECHE is open: actors of different disciplines are offered the opportunity to develop concepts across borders of their own disciplines or to optimize existing ones.
Insofar the room PILOTENKUECHE shall be the base for the exposition of new impulses. Thereby the platform focuses on the border-crossing correspondence of political, social and cultural topics.
The concept PILOTENKUECHE is not implemented as a stiff hierarchy. All tasks and ideas are achieved by a team that participates as equals on all parts of the project. This dedication shall also give an impulse for ideas of an alternative management.