Tag Archives: Painting

Artist Spotlight: Nora Manthei

Nora believes there are two kind of artists. There are the ones whom always knew they wanted to be an artist and the ones who had experiences which gradually revealed an artistic pathway. Her mother is an art teacher so she had a mix of the two above. She was always looking at coffee table books of important artists and wanted to become a painter because it was easy for her to understand what a painter does. Slowly she understood that for her there was more to working in art. It could be a form of language.

After finishing high school, she had the idea that one should already be a big artist. Obviously that was not the case, so then she supported this idea by studying art history in Leipzig. This too was not highly satisfying either so she started studying in Weimar Bauhaus University in the field of art. This was much closer to what she was seeking as she had the mind space to concentrate on her projects regarding the city and the lessons.

After Weimar, she continued studying in Halle, and from there she did an Erasmus exchange in Vienna. This was a turning point for me,” Nora says. Up to this point she was working with every type of materials and the centre of the works were all political subjects and always about moral issues. Vienna helped her to stop packing her idea and giving it to people to unpack it.  She started telling stories and writing down. She decided that she didn’t want to work with the topics that are chosen, rather the things that she had experienced herself.

The matters that you are confronted with in daily routine is Nora’s focus. She prefers to work with topics that are familiar to viewers so there is a common theme to connect with. She doesn’t think it is reasonable to make art for a small group of people who are highly educated and reference it in a way that is not readable for everyone.

Nora has her studio in an old factory. It’s a shared art space in the east of Leipzig. It’s like a collective but everyone works independently. It is the conversations, events and shared space that makes it feel like a collective.

At the moment she is working a lot with texts and typography. She has made several books. However sometimes she goes back to conceptual work like the works she displayed in the first show of the PK RD41, including writing sentences and crossing them out again.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

In addition, she does lots of photography. “Most probably every photographer experiences that moment when she blames herself for not carrying the camera with herself and loses a great shot, but when you are working with text, you have your mind always with you, You just need a pen and a piece of paper,” Nora says. Nora believes you shouldn’t put your emphasis on working with a certain media. You have to stay open to change.

“it is the most important thing for an artist not to keep repeating herself just because it’s going well and selling well.”

Artist Statement: Doubting and transforming is my process. My way of working is constantly complemented by various techniques and media, which are based on the content and emerging of piece. Since 2017 I have been working mostly with text and its interaction with pictures. These works are beginnings or fragments that can be described as a kind of everyday archeology. Out of overcoming distance and immersion into a matter, an alienation irrevocably follows. The constant back and forth is essential to be able to look from the self to the subject. For me, a work of art really only exists when it has entered the world of images of the beholder. Art is for me a connecting and supportive element to make the complexity of the present tangible. Art challenges, questions and does not give in.


written by Elnaz Mostaan

you can look at Nora’s website for more of her work

And come see her work in the following show

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00

Artist Spotlight: Cecilia Klementsson

Cecilia resisted becoming an artist for a long time, but in the end she realized that she was just rebelling against her family. They encouraged her painting. She says she was always busy drawing something as a child and always had her best marks in art classes with not much of effort. She opted for something more challenging: natural science. However, she found herself painting in all of her free time and picking art classes. It was then that she really noticed how much she enjoys it and couldn’t imagine herself doing anything else.

Life took Cecilia from Sweden to Australia and she started her studies in Fine Art in Perth. “The most isolated and the sunniest city in the world,” Cecilia says. In Perth the base of her current technique of painting formed: having four colours and applying one at a time instead of using a pallet to mix all the colours. Cecilia compares her style of painting with a printer in terms of applying each colour in separate layers. She really wants to extract all the colours that you see on the skin so they lay on the top of each other, like how the impressionists did. This is how she avoids painting dull or flat bodies. Her self-limitations gave her the challenge to go for painting meatier and fleshier instead of plastic images.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Painting nudes was always one of Cecilia’s favourites. Jenny Saville is a painter that Cecilia admires. She believes her journey from Sweden to Australia, and the difference of the attitudes towards nudity in these two country triggered something in her. As well she secretly laughs at the fact that she like to give a little back to women who paint nudes

She started looking at nudes in advertisements in more detail. How are they getting away with that much of nudity? Commercially being beautiful. but at the same time pale and innocent and not erotic. So she decided to take normal people and put them in perfect posing of advertisement. but not with the porcelain airbrush look. Instead they are fleshy and real. This was for her the indication that people are still beautiful despite the real magenta and green shadows their skin naturally have.

Another concept that Cecilia is playing around is that what happens when a man poses in a feminine way or even a trans woman poses in a masculine way. What is man? What is woman? Where is the line in this spectrum? Plus, the fact that masculine and feminine codes change throughout history. “There is a lot of gender attached to the pose, and the way someone act and the body language,” Cecilia says.

The fact that advertisement is selling sex doesn’t draw Cecilia to it. At the same time she acknowledges that it takes talent to create such a beautiful visual thing. She is also fascinated that contemporary advertisements are being more inclusive and representative with different shapes of body and skin colours. The ads she uses are generally from the 90s.

Come see how Cecilia crushes gender borders with her paintings. You will see her self-portrait posing like a male Calvin Klein perfume advertisement model and a trans woman posing as Eva Mendez in the final show of round 41.

Written by Elnaz Mostaan

images supplied by artist


You can find Cecilia’s art works in her website.

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00


Press while here at Pilotenkueche:

MEDIUM

Beyond ‘Hypezig’: Connecting international artists in eastern Germany
by Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

PILOTENKEUCHE, Franz-Flemming-Straße 9, 04179 Leipzig

Magazine 43
Issue 8

Artist Spotlight: David Elias Schilling

David is back! He is a Vienna-based artist, born in Leipzig and has spent his founding years here. Now he is at PILOTENKUECHE, rediscovering and appreciating his home city with a fresh pair of eyes. After 12 years in Vienna, he is observing the changes that Leipzig has undergone. But he has also changed. He is able to use his accumulated knowledge to discover new facets of his childhood Leipzig. The adult David is finding this new perspective on the past a very interesting experience.

His Leipziger roots manifest throughout David’s work. Knowing his family history and that of the city, we can understand David’s art on a more personal level. He grew up near the coal mines and his grandfather was employed within the industry. David childhood was informed by stories of the coal quarries and exposure to the landscape on a daily basis. He praises the aesthetic power of quarries. “It is like a hurricane” he says, describing the visual impact of the “moonlike landscape”.

David is a painter, who has also received professional training in photography. Thus, occasionally he utilises both disciplines in his practice. He found that photography alone was too clean as a medium and limiting in certain ways, whereas in painting David was able to integrate the momentum, the energy and the movement that is present throughout the creation. He also mentions that the lines and shapes on the paper trace artists’ morphology, adding an additional quality. Therefore, David uses large formats as they give more space for physical freedom and an opportunity to interact with the piece in a bodily manner.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Although his approach to painting is very expressive, David is very attentive to the detail and thoughtful about the materials he chooses. The choice of medium is tightly knitted to his birthplace and early exposures. David’s paintings have a very graphic aesthetic to them, he’s work channels the métier of contemporary drawing. He paints almost exclusively on paper using charcoal, ink and graphite, producing high contrast images.
He prefers to work on paper as it is less eternal than canvas, outlining the value of the present moment. The use of charcoal is self-explanatory, but is not by accident why he uses solely a specific brand of ink. David says to have a nostalgic connection with the ink from Rohrer & Klingner (a company established in Leipzig in.1907). This ink was the top choice in schools, used by children to learn writing.

He is also a gardener. His love for botany was ignited when he was assigned a tiny corner in the family garden. His corner plot grew bigger and bigger with each passing year. Now he can proudly speak about his collection of flowers, particularly his wild roses. As a gardener David is enchanted by the change of season, especially the springtime when nature comes back to life out of nothing. He is equally fascinated by the seeds and their ability to stay dormant for decades, just to be awakened by the right circumstances. Currently, whilst back in Leipzig, David is researching plants that are reappearing in Leipzig’s old quarries.
Within his art practice he integrates motifs of flowers, plays with their symbolism and creates harmonious Ikebanas. He is intrigued by Japanese zen gardens as well as tea rituals and Japanese ink painting.

David is a curious person and a multifaceted artist. David adores opera, he will be the one who is humming or whistling a fragment from a classical piece. Currently he is smitten by Shostakovich 11th symphony, but obviously being born in Leipzig he had the love for Bach placed in his cradle. David is interested in Bach’s’ approach to composing, his use of mathematical principles, Fibonacci sequence as well as numerology. David tries to apply these techniques himself, he studies principles of harmony, but is mesmerised by contrasts.
He is attracted by Vanitas and recognises both the beautiful and the ugly, We need both. David says: ”It is life, there is dirt and it is beautiful!”.

David manages to interweave various disciplines, techniques, personal history and symbols in a surprisingly harmonic and balanced way, creating art pieces that complement each other and form a complete oneness. Though one doesn’t have to recognize the information embedded to appreciate aesthetics of his work.


images supplied by artist


See his work at the following shows:

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00

Open:
Sat 16 / Sun 17
Thur 21 / Fri 22 / Sat 23
14:00 bis 18:00

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00

PILOTENKEUCHE, Franz-Flemming-Straße 9, 04179 Leipzig


Press while here at Pilotenkueche:

MEDIUM

Beyond ‘Hypezig’: Connecting international artists in eastern Germany
by Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas


Artist Spotlight: Natacha Martins

Natacha is an emotional painter and a confident performer. She who loves Jazz, birdsong, and finds dark techno to be the best for mixing paint. Natacha is deeply influenced by Modernism and the Baroque époque as well as Christian art. Natacha cites big names; Picasso, Matisse, Soutine, Van Gogh and contemporary artists such as Luc Tuymans, Louis Fratino, Alex Becerra, Daisy Parris, Antonia Showering, Stevie Dixx  etc. Currently she’s indulging and studying Francis Bacon. There are books of his work next to the easel and a play of liquid forms and hues of violet in her sketches.

Natacha’s work is highly self-reflective, and she chooses to share herself with the spectator. She pours her inner world and feelings onto canvas and boldly explores human vulnerability and fragility in her performances. She stands relentlessly strong for the absence of boundaries between life and art. – They are entangled: communicating, supporting, inspiring each other to construct what feels like her discourse throughout images. As a highly visual individual she needs to eat with her eyes, it is a physical urge to paint. This undeniable obsession with the imaginary manifests in a complete devotion to the practice. Artistic expression organically lives within an artist, so how one could separate this part of their own identity, caging it, denying it oxygen by taming it and taking it for a walk just occasionally? Natacha is confident, she knows that she is supposed to paint.

Photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

We talk with Natacha and Daniel in her working space at PK, about creating, but mostly about destruction. They both seem keen on destruction as a form of construction.
Daniel’s work is very geometric and mathematical, he deconstructs it down to a triangle, whereas Natacha’s approach is more sensual, and she refers to the metaphysical, the soul as the primordial form and intense irrational experiences coming from the very most intimate, allowing to reach primordial archaic human state embedded in an individual. She extracts the essence, uncovering our core values. To ask ourselves, to the communities, what do we stand for? We notice that the theme of destruction is being actualized and tackled from different angles by several participants of PK, perhaps a reflection of the happenings on a global scale. Damaged connections with nature, change caused by deforestation, mono-culture agriculture, irresponsible industrialization, excessive consumption etc.

Although Natacha defines herself as a painter, her performance piece “Crucificação e Deposição de Cristo (Crucifixion and Deposition of Christ)” serves as a strong artefact of her convictions. Natacha uses her body as a tool. After depriving herself of sleep for 3 days, she arrives at the exhibition space exhausted and in a half-conscious state. Then Natacha goes to dream, making herself a part of the artwork, exposed, fragile and undefended. Natacha says that she wanted to be there fully – as an artist, as an art piece and simultaneously displaying the fragility of the human condition. She Embraces the terminal devastation of life, resetting back to essential values and sometimes giving a rayon of hope.

In order to understand more about this artists start by Charles Mingus and Herberto Helder, then head to her instagram. Here’s her website.

written by Agnes

images supplied by artist


Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00

Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00

PILOTENKEUCHE, Franz-Flemming-Straße 9, 04179 Leipzig


Artist Spotlight: Mirjam Bürer

Mirjam has an affinity for spaces. Her dreams are very much involved with space. They appear with strong feelings of existence and memories. By spaces, she means a room, a garden, inside a bag, the figures shaped between the trees and so on. Nature is an indispensable part of her work. Her enthusiasm for spending time with nature is the core of her inspirations and even her decisions.

Collecting original seeds is a mission for Mirjam. Prior to 1994, she recognised climate change as a longstanding phenomenon. She saw that mono-cultures were forcing the farmers to use genetically manipulated seeds. At the same time the factories were delivering insecticide seeds in the same buckets and were pushing them on the farmers. However farmers were planting original seeds in their small private gardens. “People keeping the original seeds in the most important room of the house, because it’s the source of the food and all the genetic materials are in the seeds,” said Mirjam. Now when plants have defects, she has the original seeds to be able to feed humanity.

She has taught art at a visual art school for 30 years. Teaching was quite intensive and she moved studios often, but never stopped producing her own projects. She has traveled around the world because her work is multi-layered and looks to the outside while the source is deep inside her. She has been in Pakistan, Himalaya, Indonesia, North India and many more places in east Asia. For her, as an artist based in Netherlands, traveling to these countries and experiencing the culture and landscape of these lands intimately, has opened the doors of a different world.

Photos by PILOTENKÜCHE International Art program

Her Book “Local is global” was initiated in a collaborative project with Netherland’s University museum and biology scientists. “It was another eye opener to work as an artist and collaborate with scientists,” she says. The book took her to Korea. She changed the title to “Gross national happiness” in 2001. That’s the quote used in Bhutan: gross national happiness instead of gross national product.

It’s important for her to get involved while traveling, staying for a while, getting to know the people, and make her works with fresh inspirations from local landscapes and people. That’s why she doesn’t carry her art works around. “When I’m triggered with something I have to make it,” Says Mirjam.

There has not been much time for her to make exhibition for a long time and now she is here to have her time to focus on her work again. She wants to have her own interpretation of the kleingartens of the city. Maybe this will manifest in making her own plan of green lounges of Leipzig playing around industrial spaces or maybe in a small collaboration with other artists in the residency. For the final exhibition, she plans to make an installation of movie compilation, drawing and space of the elements that she was freshly engaged with.

written by Elnaz Mostaan


you can find more of Mirjam’s work in her Website. As well she will exhibit her works in the following events.

Reset unsettling flesh layers / vernissage / PK at AHS

Friday, 15. November 2019
19:00 bis 22:00
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, Kleinzschocher, 04229 Leipzig, Deutschland

Overwhelmed incorporeal happiness / vernissage / PK RD41

Saturday, 14. December 2019
19:00 – 22:00
PILOTENKEUCHE, Franz-Flemming-Straße 9, 04179 Leipzig

Artist spotlight: Matthias Geisler

“I consider myself an observer with alchemical tendencies”

Matthias Geisler has long been watching the versatility of the digital world with fascination. He works with the interaction between graphics and digital media. He wants to discover the archetypal surface that hides behind an image and make it visible. He selects and extracts the digital images that captivate him and transforms the incomprehensible as an abstract entity into intricate images or re-creates it as poetic impressions and figures.

Through the process of analyzing, modifying and deforming, the results are complex drawings in which subjective visions of reality are revealed. His daily experiences are condensed into the final outcome. He says, “The surfaces of the digital world raise in me the question of how order and chaos are determined.”

Sometimes he simulates the typical loop of digital space to repeatedly draw images with seemingly imperceptible differences. As in the serie called Krater: these are graphite drawings of images taken by NASA and ESA space probes. They are patterns with the different layers of repetition, structure and quality in which he examines the complexity of the space. Currently a source of inspiration are the pictures of the space by the German photographer Thomas Ruff in which he also reinterprets the digital images.

In addition to the spatial dimension, Matthias is fascinated by caves. Both are silent places that invite reflection on the meaning of existence. He draws his caves as mystical places. Starting from a figurative idea, he then follows their rhythm until he breaks away from reality. They are deliberate reminiscences of digital, electronically generated images. In the series of drawings Pause the cave reveals itself in the geometric and symmetric surfaces.

This work of research and transformation is associated with literal reflections. Each year he fills one notebook with interesting combinations of reasoned texts and drawings or quick sketches. Sometimes they are poetic compositions, ironic comics or long poems.

Matthias’s education started with the study of naturalistic design. He then he left it to find his own personal language closer to his interior world. When he draws, he starts with decorative lines or fluid forms. From abstract, figures and stories emerge.

He has a similar approach when creating his videos. From digital textures that form psychedelic and otherworldly environments, he tells stories of men who discover imaginary places and create human relationships. It is as if one of his drawings of an imaginative parallel world have come to life in his most recent short film.

Matthias says, “The digital is a non-place, a space without any dimension. Distance and time play no role, just like in the inner world, introspection or better said, the world of inner occupation. Man is still free in thought.”

The constant oscillation between understanding, searching as studying and creating is an expression of intent to discover mythical and mystical aspects of reality.

Written by Silvia Zandomeneghi


HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
performances by:
Darien Crossley
Adam Tuch
Tom Austin


open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9


Hungry Dungeon Friends Curatorial Tour

First and foremost, we’d like to thank everyone who packed the house for our Hungry Dungeon Friends vernissage at Kunstkraftwerk. The evening was one that still has people thinking nearly a week after. For those who missed it, the show is on until Sunday 1 September.

This Saturday at 3PM, our curator in residence, Colette Patterson will be giving a tour. Come find out what is behind the high quality works created by our International artists. We will also be gifted with a performance by Tom Austin.

Meanwhile, here are some images from the install and the vernissage shot by Stanley Louis, one of this round’s interns.

Hungry exchanges are often communicated through the affective fields of our bodies. The body-organism is linked to the world through a network of primal signifiers. An underworld of currents, there are some conversations that can only take place on the borders, on the edge of ourselves, of our contact with the other. The exhibition tries to circulate these borders, these textures, these interiorities, that are viscous, unformed, multiple and many times. We morph between states of consciousness, mapping unknown desires. This exhibition is the interim show of the Pilotenkeuche residents, and explores the possibility to traverse these spaces, inviting a tactile sensibility, and begs to ask what happens in a dungeon with friends? 

text by curator Colette Patterson


Hungry Dungeon Friends

Saturday 24 August
Curatorial Tour by Colette Patterson
performance by 
Tom Alexander Austin

open 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig


PK RD40 

International residents

Adam Tuch (sound, digital art, installation/US)
Agathe Barre (film/FR) 
Antonia Wetzel (performance, painting/DE)
Ariel Taylor (painting/US)
Clément Bedel (painting/FR) 
Christopher Sperandio (comics/US) 
Darien Crossley (performance, painting/US)
Helene Planquelle (painting, drawing/FR)
Isaac Magner (sound design, video/UK) 
Michella Perera (sculpture/UK)
Tom Alexander Austin (performance/UK)
Vernon O´Meally (painting/US)
Zara June Williams (painting/AU)
Zheng Wenxin (painting/CH)

Local Participants
Matthias Geisler (painting, printmaking/DE) 
Simon Schäfer (sculpture, film, sound, installation, digital/DE)

Curator
Colette Patterson (UK)

Assistants
Fiona Irene Graf (DE/UK) 
Huai-ya Lin (TW) 
Silvia Zandomeneghi (IT)
milkafterfish (instagram)
Stanley Louis (HA/FR) 
iam_stanlouis (instagram)– 

Artist Spotlight: Antonia Wetzel

Antonia Wetzel is a storyteller. The floor of her Pilotenkueche studio is covered with huge sheets of paper, and each of them bears a narrative. Some of them are written statements with bold, black letters covering a whole page, while the others are mainly large scale comics. Although they are all separate and conclusive in themselves, as a whole they build a cohesive braiding of sentiments and stories. 

‘Comics are a way for me to bring the most important information of a whole storyline into just one painting’, Antonia says. Constantly adding new paintings to the paper stacks, she has created an ever expanding sketchbook on concrete floor. The existing parts being perpetually and haphazardly juxtaposed with more recent material, and thus constantly gain new meaning.

‘Sexuality plays a huge role in each of my works –  and obviously shame’, Antonia explains. This involvement with sexuality and shame is almost abidingly present throughout her practice: Often based on Antonia’s own experience, her works exhibit situations associated with the emergence of shame and the feeling of being exposed in a sexual context. The chosen role as the exhibitionist is a liberating one, offering the protagonists the opportunity to escape vulnerability and to retrieve their dignity through regaining a position of power. 

There is an aggression in the act of the unmasking, a brutality in the bluntness of her words, yet there is wit. One of the paintings on the floor depicts the artist as an old woman in a chair, holding a young man in her lap. Both of them are naked. It is Antonia’s cynical answer to the sexist lifestyle promoted in many of Charles Bukowski’s pieces. The artist’s humorous approach makes the said appear even more incisive, simultaneously it acts as a medicine soothing the wounds of both beholder and originator.


For the Pilotenkueche exhibition at Kunstkraftwerk, Antonia embraces a new medium: performance. Her interactive piece, ‘Fuck an Artist’. urges the spectator to actively engage with the theme through writing their fantasies on postcards inscribed with the question ‘What do you want to do to me?’. These will then be put in a glass box, exposed to everyone. The content of the notes will eventually be reflected upon in a performance by the artist herself, who will be present during the entire process. Deliberately objectivising herself whilst maintaining ascendancy through the exposure of her subject, she generates an ambiguous mechanism, a power dynamic run by mutual dependence. 

As part of the exhibition, Antonia will also hand out ‘Hurenpaesse’ to visitors. ‘Whore passports’ are issued to sex workers by the German government. They are a crass example of the stigmatisation sex workers have to face in a hypocritical system that protects the industry’s customers, but leaves the providers exposed. The passports will feature a real phone number which can be used to make an appointment with the artist. 

‘I can get away with calling it art, but a real sex worker does not have the same freedom. In this space of it being a performance and me being an artist I can sell sex if I want to, but a real sex worker will face a lot more difficulties and that is the point I want to make. Certain people get a lot of freedom because of the circles they are living in and in what context they are doing things, and then others live other stigmas and labels and don’t have the same freedom.’

There are many myths evolving around sex work, though the narratives have largely been woven by men. With contemporary society stagnating on a platform of ‘acceptable disparity’ whilst cherishing the illusion of gender equality, Antonia’s work is now as relevant as ever.

written by Fiona Irene Graf


See Antonia’s work in the upcoming exhibitions

HUNGRY DUNGEON FRIENDS

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

Performances: 
Isaac Magner and Agathe Barre
Antonia Wetzel
Tom Austin 
Simon Schäfer

Saturday 24 August
Performances: 
Isaac Magner and Agathe Barre
Antonia Wetzel
Tom Austin 

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig

GRATEFUL PARK

vernissage: 
Friday 20 September
7PM-11PM
open: 
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
1PM-5PM 
location:
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9

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

________________________


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

Artist Spotlight: Dominga Vergara

“Content is to be dissolved so completely into form that the work of art cannot be reduced to anything not itself.” — Clement Greenberg, Towards A Newer Laocoon,  1940

In his famous essay Towards A Newer Laocoon (1940), Clement Greenberg theorised that the arts have historically undergone periodic cycles of imitation. The dominant art of any given moment, he said, becomes the prototype for all over medias. Each art form then goes through a process of incorporating one or more of its elements into oneself. According to Greenberg, the visual arts imitated at first the narrative structures of literature and poetry, and then the lyricism of symphonies. Instead, he advocated for a ‘purity’ and ‘separation’ of the arts. Painting, he said, should embrace its formal and intrinsic qualities. If the specificity of painting lies simply in the application of paint on canvas, then there was only one conceivable solution; pure abstraction.

Greenberg’s thoughts stand no better relevance than today. From the 1960’s ‘Multi-media’ emerged as an entirely new art form in itself, incorporating the likes of video, theater, design and music.  The fallibility of the human hand long since been exposed by the advent of Photographic realism. With the continued development of new medias and immersive technologies, the visual arts have took on a whole new dimension. Perhaps reverting back to the ‘purity’ of abstraction is exactly what is needed.

Although the golden era of abstract art has long since surpassed, it’s made a big comeback in recent years. Chilean artist Dominga Vergara is one of the artists making that happen She creates large format paintings on canvas using acrylic and oil chalk, occasionally employing tools to chisel into the surface to create dimensional layering.  Her paintings bear no witness to objective reality, instead referencing primary elements of form, colour and line. Her work translates the inner world of her unconscious into complex abstract forms.

photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program

Beginning with only an idea of a colour palette in mind, she starts to construct a basic skeleton of lines. Shapes begin to emerge from the canvas through a series of spontaneous gestures. But while some brush strokes are rough and expressive, others necessitate purified geometry and mathematical precision. “Chaos and control exist in equilibrium”, she beautifully puts it. Layers are slowly built up until finally she reaches a compositional balance and she knows when to stop.

Dominga was born in Chile in 1984. She attained an art degree at the University Finis Terra and later became an art professor at the Universidad del Desarrollo. After moving to Berlin in 2015, she exhibited ‘Das Mikro Makro Leben’ at the Berlin Chilean embassy, and collaborated on the project ‘Go Girl’ during Berlin Fashion week 2017.  Soon after, she was invited to represent Chile as part of a collective of South-American artists at ArtNord; one of the most foremost contemporary art fairs in Europe. Like much of her work which forges a visual dialogue with her surroundings, she tells me that the paintings she produced in Berlin reflected the movement and dynamism of the city.

She’s currently in residence at Pilolentuche in Leipzig. For the group’s ongoing exhibition at Kunskraftwerk, Dominga created a wapping four meter long painting in her signature style. In the basement of the old industrial power plant, Dominga wanted to forge a dialogue between her work and the space. Wrapping one side of the work around a rusted metal cylinder, the other was suspended by transparent fish wire. The resulting effect seemed as though part of the painting was floating in mid air. For her next project, which will be exhibited at the group’s final show, Dominga wants to paint onto an old map acquired from a flea market earlier in the residency. She is also working on two large format canvases. We’re excited to see what she brings to the table.

Written by: Ellisha Walkden

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You can see Dominga’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