Martin Holz was and remains a PK pilot. He came to create art, but fell in love with Pilotenkueche for its potential. During his five years as Director, it developed into much more than a residency. Today Pilotenkueche is a multi-faceted program that gives more than a space in a shared studio. It recognizes a growing trend of curation by offering emerging curators three month internships. While here, they do consultations with artists, write texts and, of course, curate the shows. It also gives interns a chance to be very hands-on in the day to day happenings, including graphic design for exhibitions and writing posts for the website.
When Martin arrived as an artist, PK was located in HALLE 14 at Spinnerei and was host to around five international artists. Now it is housed in its own space in the up and coming art area of Leutsch. Each of the approximately 12 International artists has up to 36 square meters and all have inspiring views.
all photos by PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
The new space was just a shell when he got it, but he knew this was a place he could expand the project and make his vision come true. He worked tirelessly to have it ready for the 10th Pilotenkueche anniversary in spring of 2017. He did all the wiring, built walls, put in windows, a bathroom, a tea kitchen and an office area. He carefully designed the space so that some walls could be moved to give more flexibility when converting it from work space to exhibition space. Yes, the art was always the heart of it all.
The last five years have given Martin many wonderful memories of bonding and creating. Last November he was pleased to open Heat Lee’s show, AXIO, at the MdBK. While Heet was a resident at Pilotenkueche, the two recognized they shared the ability to see the darkness.
Martin intermingled performance and text, drawing comparisons to karate and being an artist. The fight between order and chaos requires offensive and defensive skills. In her paintings, Lee searches for the moments between chance and control. This was always a quest that Martin was happy to seek.
It was on purpose that Pilotenkueche remained an artist run program. The program supports artists in finding applicable individual funding. His goal was to create a safe space in which artists could engage and collaborate, but didn’t confine them to the program. In working together with Natalia Kalicki or Magdalena Cichon as coordinator, Martin tried to give as many opportunities to engage the local community as possible. This is why there are also two local artists each round. While they have their own studios in town, they accompany the residents on program days where a variety of high and low art activities take place and they participate in the exhibitions.
But now, unfortunately, Martin feels he has taken Pilotenkueche as far as he can. It is time to let his baby go in order for it to continue to grow. We want to publicly thank him for his countless hours of unselfish devotion and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Pilotenkueche will be announcing the new directors sometime in March. We look forward to seeing what that direction will bring. We welcome them and hope you will too.