Tag Archives: performance art

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: Amanda Struver

Each day Amanda sits facing her studio window, legs crossed, listening intently to her big black headphones as she researches and gathers her materials.  Her studio has two shovels, a pink sparkly pig mask, sardine tins painted white, a tripod and other objects that don’t seem connected. It is her effervescence that fills the room.  Amanda Struver considers any given space she occupies as a part of her practice. She continually thinks of ways to contextualize ideas and objects within the given situation, as she uses boundaries of place and the body, concepts of disarray and dysfunction, as tools for her work.

Amanda understands her practice as manic. She is continually working through multiple projects at once. However, each idea is linked by questions of various dualities, such as; personal vs universal; animal vs. human; nothing vs everything; dirty vs sterile.  These questions began with the exploration of her body and the ways in which one is to behave or not behave, based on the cultural/social beliefs and norms.

She does not prefer being identified in one form or to belong to any one category, but rather she frees herself by revealing different performances of alternative selves. Examples of these performances are Pool Boi– where she had the chance to care for a pool, she performed and logged entries on Instagram of her life poolside, and Scum– another performance in which she walked around the crowds of the gallery either noticed or neglected by them and created an atmosphere that tested their tolerance through smell and behaviour.

all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program or supplied by the artist

Order vs chaos is another duality she heavily worked through. Over the course of seven months she built up a space composed of three walls in her given studio, called a “set”, and filled it with various objects, creating different scenarios.  It evolved to her entering the space and recording her actions, which ranged from sitting on a block of lard, crushing eggs between her armpits, and pouring milk on the carpet only to absorb it back onto a rag until full and repeat. Through the repetition of a simple task or motion she lost sense of time and was transported out of the situation of the “set”.  By bringing focus to repetition, she provokes comfortability in regularity.

“It is easy to exist within a routine, and I wonder how does this influence an experience of a reality?”

While at Pilotenkueche, Amanda will be continuing to process through a few different projects, and one that is specific to the context of this residency- in which she will be digging a hole under a bridge for Sad Baby. The hole will be dug for a set number of hours, each day. In conjunction, she will be doing a series of writings for the situation of Sad Baby, who is all of us and none of us. Through this work she will suggest a notion of routine, while emulating desperation felt from doing it all for nothing.

written by mihyun maria kim

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Come and see what Amanda creates in the following shows:

Unfinished Hase

Vernissage:  15.02.19, 19h
Open:  16 – 23.02.19, 13 – 17h
Finissage: 23.02.19 19h
Location: 
Alte Handelsschule, Gießerstraße 75, 04229 Leipzig, Germany

Fast Kotzen 

Vernissage:  23.03.19, 19h
Open:  24 – 27.03.19 17h-20h
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany