Tag Archives: tom austin

Hungry Dungeon Friends

There are some conversations that can only take place on the borders of ourselves; in contact with the other. The exhibition, Hungry Dungeon Friends, circulates around these borders and interiorities. They are viscous, unformed, multiple and representative of our hybrid nature.  

Through the hybrid format of the PILOTENKUECHE  International Art Program, there are possibilities to realign ones practice and be exposed to new environments, like the dungeonesque basement at KKW which offers a unique stimuli. Exchanges can be marked by a need, a hunger communicated through the affective fields of our bodies.  The body-organism is linked to the world through a network of primal signifiers, our bodies’ raw data

Like in the Deffractionist writings of philosopher, Karen Barad, in this project the pollination between practices and processes of the artists seeks to frame how “we cut together apart.”  The work explores intimacies and edges of collapse, dialogues about method, stages of unconscious and conscious action. How and what inhabits these points of exchange? PILOTENKUECHE offers a space to challenge temporal and spatial constraints.

In an enhanced awareness of these possible exchanges we question and reconfigure understandings. Hungry Dungeon Friends seeks to look into our entanglements in a myriad of ways. Conceived in an underworld of currents, it is a form and place where thinking intervenes in the more than human worlds.

Theorist Donna Haraway’s work highlights the figuration of these broken boundaries and imploded worlds, where knowledge and ontology dissolve. As a species we need to collectively reimagine new forms of empathy and understanding. In turn, this allows the developing of methods of care and extends the notion of what relating is, in order to confront humanity’s 21st century human exceptionalism. 

written by Curator in Residence Colette Patterson


Hungry Dungeon Friends

vernissage: 
Saturday 17 August 
7PM-10PM

Live performances by 
sound artist Isaac Magner with film maker Agathe Barreand performance artists Antonia Wetzel, Tom Alexander Austin and Simon Schäfer.

events:
Saturday 24 August
Curatorial Tour by Colette Patterson

Live performance by 
Tom Alexander Austin

open: 
Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM Tue-Sun

location:
Kunstkraftwerk
Saalfelder Str.


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: Tom Austin

A year of working in London’s most prestigious galleries left Tom Austin unimpressed, unsatisfied and empty. When he arrived at Pilotenküche the beginning of June, he didn’t know if he wanted to make art anymore. The sometimes self-serving, complacent aspects of the art industry, led the artist to question the long-established hierarchies within it, and their impact on the process of art-making and on society itself. In order to gain distance and dissociate with the world he had been disappointed with, Tom left. He spent 6 months working on farms and volunteering.

‘Pilotenkueche is a cool chance to re-engage with art’, he says. ‘I am trying to find a new sense for art making: I really struggle with the why at the moment.’ He is currently looking for ways to create art which help empower himself and other people.

With the effects of the climate crisis being more vigorously and immediately noticeable than ever, Tom’s most recent practice is largely focusing on the interconnectedness between the anthropogenic destruction of the planet, the existing global power structures and the entrenched elitism of our national institutions, and correlatively on the way cultures are shaped and altered by these entities. 

Earlier this year, Tom held a 45 minute-long lecture in The Hague, generating a long overdue debate around the matter. The artist argued that the gallery world helps sustain the status quo: ‘It’s designed to stop us from thinking outside the box, to put us in our place, and it is run by elites who want to keep things the same. It is actually stopping us from taking any actions on climate change.’ 

The lecture thematised the growing use of fossil fuels in the 18th and 19th century, and the environmental, societal and cultural changes that came with it. It spurred the development of colonialism and the propagation of exploitative working ethics, culminating in an immoral extractivist system that is still in place today.

With the leading economies still nestled in the colonialist mindset of the past, they continue to exert their dominance and expropriate the world’s poorest nations of their natural resources. Tom highlights that the idea of superiority, of territorial and cultural hegemony over other humans, stems from the radical rationalist thought of the Enlightenment Era, the concept of man’s sublime position above flora and fauna finds itself manifested in the bible. 

Despite the destructive ramifications of energy extraction through fossil fuels, the artworld gained phenomenally from it and this has altered the course of art history. The invention of the steamship made travel and trade easier and faster and gave artists the opportunity to access the unknown. Paul Gauguin spent ten years in French Polynesia, his paintings from that time made him famous and became a vital influence for Symbolist and Expressionist art. Emil Nolde painted in New Guinea, Van Gogh developed his love for Japanese prints, Picasso’s African Period greatly informed his cubist work. Tom’s attempt to find a holistic understanding of these complexities in their entirety, is evident throughout his most recent practice: connecting all the dots on a diagram, a written performance on the wall. 

With his practice emphasising on performative art, Tom is currently developing ideas for a performance for the Pilotenkueche Exhibition at Kunstkraftwerk. He is creating a paper maché flower, which will be used as a prop. Props, masks and costumes find frequent usage in Tom’s performances and videos. They act as tools, as connecting points between him and the idea, never as character- defining elements that determine the narrative. 

‘Circle of Life’, one of Tom’s more recent works, is a slowly progressing, organically moving piece in which Tom playfully engages with seemingly random objects like oranges, a basketball and several domestic items like a tablecloth, a CD-player and a juicer. These objects evoke connotations to mundane phenomena: breakfast TV, school outings, shopping channels. Tom’s interaction with them bespeaks a humorous, zeitgeisty language. Yet, Tom’s work is a far cry from being a mockery. Instead, it is a testimony of Tom’s dissatisfaction, a protest transmitted with an almost tragic, clownlike seriousness, a demonstration revealing to us our derelictions in a time of drastic change.

written by Fiona Irene Graf


See Tom’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