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.

Written by: Clementine Butler-Gallie


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

Artist Spotlight: Daniel Long

Daniel is a master of cognitive illusions and high-tech wizardry. While in some works he combines technology with the art of deception, in others, he unveils the material apparatus of the medium and its ideological constructs. Using the technique of projection mapping, a skill he has refined over the course of eight years, his current project focuses on providing a critique of man’s dependence on machine learning and artificial intelligence .

What exactly is projection mapping? Projection mapping is the process of transforming regular facades, such as industrial landscapes, into surfaces for the projection of imagery. Using light as his paintbrush, brick walls, glass and other surfaces become his canvas. Daniel uses live animation and programming software in order to create complex visual forms, altering various parameters in order to portray the illusion of movement in space.

Daniel was born in New York City to a family of second generation refugees of Vietnamese and Cambodian descent. Decisively, it was when he began to travel that his creative pursuits really took off. He lived in Spain, Denmark and traveled around Southeast Asia before settling in Vietnam in 2011. It was there that he became involved with a close knit artistic community which gave him the momentum to start creating.

He began experimenting with convergences of art and technology and various inter-media practices. While projection mapping usually involves the projection of pre-digitally rendered imagery, Daniel became interested in the ‘live’ aspect of real-time animation. This places the work on another ontological plane. It exists only in that moment, thus introducing an element of performativity to his practice. An example of such work involved painting with dyes onto the surface of an overhead projector; this would then be transposed into live visuals on a screen.

He was also interested in exploring the interplay of audio-visual narratives via the creation of immersive experiences which combined multi-sensory elements. In 2013, he co-founded the company Live Audio Visual (LAV). LAV collaborated with local events and electronic musicians through creating live visual effects. In the electronic dance music community, it has become increasingly common for DJ’s to accompany their music with synced visuals, paving the way for more compelling live performances. However, when Daniel began collaborating on these projects, the idea was relatively new.

But it was the ability of illusion augmented technology to play on his surrealist fascination with magic which intrigued Daniel the most. Perhaps the most apt example of this was his Infinity Box. It was an immersive sculptural installation involving moving LED lights and multiple mirrors, creating the optical illusion of cosmic space. In past events, he has also mapped a series of moving images onto a glass window, as well as constructed 3D geometry such as cylinders and cubes. This involved the technical precision of aligning the parameters of the projector with the object. Laughingly, he says the resulting effect, “really freaked people out.”

Daniel also experimented with the art of anti-illusion. He began manipulating video tapes through bending and breaking the film while it was playing, creating static and rollover effects. This filmic reflexivity, similar to structuralist and avant-garde cinema practices of the 1920s and 1930s, worked to demystify the viewing process, exposing the material apparatus which underpins its production.

In 2016 Daniel moved back to New York, where a talented painter named Cruz was to become his mentor. This was to have a significant impact on the conceptual trajectory of his art. He began to focus more closely on ideas and what lies beyond the aesthetic.

So what now? His on-going projects with Pilotenkueche will take a decisive step away from animation through the creation of a short film. This film intends to explore modern ramifications of technology, while continuing to experiment with the art of illusion through projection mapping techniques. 

Written by: Ellisha Walkden

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You can see Daniel’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: Christina Prudente

I like jumping from one place to another. There are not boundaries for me. This might be applied both to my lifestyle and art practice.” After 25 years in Sicily, Christina Prudente decided to start a new chapter in her life and find a new place she could call home.  She spent some time in San Francisco and then relocated to London, UK. London’s dynamic and blooming culture scene is probably what led Christina to arts. Everything began with a short drawing course Christina was attending while working as a lawyer.

Suddenly Christina quit her job and started attending Kingston University, where she first got her Bachelor and, then, Master’s degree in fine arts. However, for a long time her art work didn’t have any link. When she was creating something, Christina just tried to explore the possibilities of “creation” in a time’s vacuum without notion of past and/or future. People were telling her to focus on one technique and find her personal style, but she didn’t feel this way. Instead, Christina adopted the mindset of the Arte Povera, a contemporary art movement from Italy. Artists that refer to Arte Povera believe that the link is the artist themselves.

“I enjoy working with every type of media and different kinds of concepts. I appreciate the art of freedom, because my previous occupation didn’t give that freedom. The whole day I was sitting in the office, doing boring paper work and couldn’t express myself. Now my art work fully responds to who I am.”

In Christina’s opinion, the country, where an artist lives/lived/came from naturally influences his or her work. “Human experience is what inspires me. In my art work I like to reflect social issues that modern society is currently facing. I worked with such topics as war in Afghanistan and Iraq, society control, equality, human rights and so on. I think it was some kind of a transition from a lawyer in to the artist”.

Christina also draws her inspiration from other artists’ work. Michelangelo Pistoletto, Bill Viola and Gerhard Richter are some of her favorites. Currently she is working with selected poems of Edgar Allan Poe and trying to respond to them in her new art piece she is going to present at Kunstkraftwerk. In the upcoming exhibition, she will be using different media such as mirrors, photos, video or music. So we definitely have something to look forward to.

And what are Christina’s plans for the future after her residency at Pilotenkueche is finished? She is always on the move and she is not going to stop. Since she successfully exhibited in Tokyo last year, now Christina is trying to organize a new exhibition in Korea. We will see where wanderlust will bring her. Maybe it will be a birthday party at the North pole or an art residency in Namibia. Time will tell.

written by Kristina Nizamova

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See Christina’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: 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