2 February 2016

INTERVIEW: JON PILKINGTON

Jon Pilkington_Two Loops_V1 Gallery_featured on artfridge11
all works © Jon Pilkington at V1 Gallery Copenhagen, 2016

There is a playfulness attached to the surface of the colourful paintings by 26-year old British artist Jon Pilkington: circles, drops, stains, leafy and ornamental forms cover both small and large works. They deceive the eyes for a moment, preventing the sight to realise that the game is in fact a quite ritualistic, almost manic experiment of repeatedly producing similar motifs into a new surface on a canvas with the basic tools of painting: colour, form, composition. Chance and failure play a large role in this process. Jon, who works in a small studio space in London's busy art district Peckham, currently has his works on display in a group show at Rod Barton gallery, around the corner of his studio, and in the solo show 'Two Loops' at V1 Gallery, which is based in Copenhagen's meat-packing-district. We talked about what he does and what he doesn't consider essential in paintings.

17 January 2016

INTERVIEW: ERDAL INCI

Stumblers_video_2014_FullHD_1sec All works © Erdal Inci

The art world can be a chaotic place, in which countless artists have simultaneous shows at the same time, making it impossible to catch them all! A few artists, however, you just cannot miss: Appearing frequently in various formats, from social media to fairs, from festivals and exhibitions to performances, media artist Erdal Inci from Ankara, Turkey presents his works broadly and keenly. While he originally graduated at Hacettepe University in Painting in 2005, Erdal has since been practicing with paint, photography, new media and video art between Istanbul and Berlin. Having thus strong bounds to Berlin, Erdal explained me his new work called `Berlin Wall- a data visualization` and he spoke about his thoughts on the future of new media art in Turkey.

6 January 2016

INTERVIEW: STEFFEN BUNTE

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All works © Steffen Bunte; Photos © Hugard & Vanoverschelde

Steaming machines, buzzing exhaust pipes, shining lacquers – the German installation artist Steffen Bunte regularly incorporates automotive elements as his aesthetic template and material. Born in 1987, most of his recent shows merged clean designs of display formats with different media, always staging the automotive imagery as an ambivalent ground to play on: neither fully in its masculine cliché, nor exclusively as a producer of either pure adrenaline fun or dirty emission. His last show "Shell; Fiction (Trailer)", which took place at Galerie Jeanroch Dard in Brussels, literally wrapped a non-linear and deeply poetic narrative around fragments of urban life, and the questions that seem to come with it. A road to nowhere. A road from nowhere. In our interview Steffen Bunte speaks about his exhibition, its cinematic format and the role of cars for his art and his life.

29 October 2015

INTERVIEW: MARI SPIRITO

Hale Tenger, We didn't go outside we were always on the outside We didnt go inside; we were always on the inside 1995-2015, Galeri Nev, Istanbul, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, Protocinema, New York photo, Vehbi Dileksiz Installation by Hale Tenger "We didn't go outside; we were always on the outside. We didnt go inside; we were always on the inside 1995-2015", Galeri Nev, Istanbul, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, Protocinema, New York / photo © Vehbi Dileksiz

American Curator and art manager Mari Spirito is one of Istanbul's most active persons in art world, always organising different projects at the same time and traveling to a other countries frequently. Dedicated to encouraging careers for emerging artists and curators, she is currently the consultant for Art Basel's "Talks Program" and has previously lived in New York, where she was director at 303 Gallery. In 2011, Mari initiated her own project Protocinema – an art organisation that connects cities such as New York and İstanbul, through educational programs, exhibitions and various collaborations. One of her newest, self-initiated endeavours is the temporary exhibition series Proto5533: A collaboration between Protocinema and the Istanbul-based artist-run-space 5533, displaying emerging curators and artists. I met Mari in Istanbul's district Çukurcuma, where we had coffee on the rooftop of a historical building. She told me about Protocinema, its goals and why she chose Istanbul as a base.

21 October 2015

INTERVIEW: BILLY RENNEKAMP

Billy Rennekamp_houston in the blind
all works © Billy Rennekamp

Visting the Neukölln-studio of 1988-born US artist Billy Rennekamp reveals his intense passion for sports, rules and any kind of game, which he integrates and manipulates in every work that he produces. Balls, sticks, boards and countless props are spread all over the place. The space smells of rubber and leather. I talked to him about material fetishism, the shift from digital to physical art and, obviously, why he is playing games.

13 October 2015

INTERVIEW: YVONNE REINERS AND TINA SAUERLÄNDER

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What's hot? A question that we might hope to find resolved at every biennial, art fair or art week that we attend. But what's hot today might be over by tomorrow. And: who decides what's hot, anyway? Yvonne Reiners, a curator and researcher running the performance series Performing Encounters that re-imagines formats of encounter and discussion; and Tina Sauerländer, a curator and writer, who has been organising numerous exhibitions under the label peer to space, jointly organised the upcoming Pecha Kucha Art Night at Haus am Lützowplatz in Berlin. The event will ask this very question amidst a couple of professionals from different disciplines, such as the art historian Annika von Taube, the art dealer Volker Diehl or the publisher Uta Grosenick. I asked the two organisers, why they felt the need to pose this question.

28 September 2015

INTERVIEW: EBRU YETIŞKIN

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Buşra Tunç "Sinusoid" (2014), interactive light installation, "WAVES" exhibition at BLOK art space; photo © Rayna Teneva

Istanbul-based curator, art writer and sociologist Ebru Yetişkin embeds her practice in-between science, technology and art. Born in 1976, she studied Communications and Radio-TV-Cinema at Istanbul University and Science, Technology and Society at Université Louis Pasteur and the Istanbul Technical University. Her PhD in sociology was entitled “Nettachmental Thought: Problematisation of Social Sciences through Quotidian Practices” and has led to her current teaching in Sociology and Media at Istanbul Technical University and Isik University. Specialised in the overlapping of science, technology and art, she researches at the International Association of Contemporary Art Critics in Turkey (AICA). Focusing on new media art, she curated the exhibitions "Cacophony" in Açıkekran New Media Art Gallery, "Code Unknown" in 42Maslak and "WAVES" in BLOK art space. For this year's Plugin show "X-Change" – the new-media art section at Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair – Ebru has been appointed curator and told me about her curatorial approaches, algorithms, about organic and technological bodies and about her ideas on mutation and revolution.

28 August 2015

INTERVIEW: FLORIAN MEISENBERG

1a_by Florian Meisenberg all images: works by Florian Meisenberg, © Florian Meisenberg, courtesy the artist, Kassler Kunstverein and his galleries Wentrup, Berlin; Simone Subal, NYC; Mendes Wood, Sau Paulo; photos by Joerg Lohse, NY; Sebastian Bach, NY; Anna Arca, London; Trevor Good, Berlin; Nils Klinger, Kassel; Bruno Leão, São Paulo; Gui Gomes, São Paulo

The offline and the online world merge with German artist Florian Meisenberg. Using the media of paint, performance, installation and video, his work reflects the variety of skills that he experienced throughout his life:  Florian first studied media design, until he eventually entered the art academy in Düsseldorf and studied with Peter Doig. Whilst being intensely sincere about formal and critical concepts behind his work, he openly discusses what moves and motivates him.

Originally born in Berlin in 1980, Florian moved to New York in 2010 with his girlfriend and collaborator Anna K.E., who also studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf, since then sharing a studio in Bushwick. Not only a team in private life, Anna and Florian often create work together and approach each others practice both aesthetically and conceptually. But also from a more general perspective, the subject of intimacy is a coherent theme in Florian’s work, expressed in both physical and digital relations of beings and objects. While his unique instalments and performances, for example at Kassler Kunstverein or Kölnischer Kunstverein, often relate to the composition of screens, appropriating a digital aesthetic of pop-up windows, manuals and simultaneous data-streams, his videos incorporate corporeal affection.

Over the course of half a year, Florian and I messaged each other questions and answers, discussing his practice between the digital and the analogue, his fascination for the Internet, for exchange and for digital jet-legs.