11 April 2019

INTERVIEW: HAZMATLAB

HazMatLab, slime production, 2018 © HazMatLab, Slime Production, 2018, Photo by Killa Schuetze

HazMatLab is a Frankfurt-based collective, including the artists Sandra Havlicek, Tina Kohlmann and Katharina Schücke. With an emphasis on process-based working practices, the collective is focused on material research and experimentation, trying to push boundaries in cross-sections between chemistry, biology, art and scientific imagination. All three artists studied at Städelschule in Frankfurt with different professors, and after graduating in 2016 they started collaborating as HazMatLab. After attending a nail art night in their studio, the artists took me through how they transformed an abandoned room in their building into a hidden lab filled with nail polish smells and curious slimes. This lab is where their work takes place: chemical and alchemical experiments with materials from cosmetics, technology or TCM. We talked about their recent solo exhibition “soothing efficacy” at 8. Salon in Hamburg and the importance of collaborative thinking processes in contemporary art practices. 

28 February 2019

INTERVIEW: BEN THORP BROWN

Ben Thorp Brown_Video Still Gropius Memory Palace_2017_03
Ben Thorp Brown, Gropius Memory Palace, 2017 (film still). Courtesy the artist

Ben Thorp Brown's work addresses embodied experience, perception and memory. Working across video, sculpture, performance, his projects consider the effects of on-going economic, environmental, and technological change. He received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In this interview Ben Thorp Brown talks about his two most recent films, "Gropius Memory Palace", which was recently shown at Display in Berlin and "The Arcadia Center", which will be presented at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, CAPC Bordeaux, and Museo Amparo in Puebla, Mexico starting in June this year.

30 January 2019

INTERVIEW: JONATHAN SCHMIDT-OTT

vollmond_01 © Jonathan Schmidt-Ott, "~Vollmond"

If the photographic practice of Berlin-born artist Jonathan Schmidt-Ott needed to be narrowed down to only two words, I would borrow Lukas Feireiss' description of it as "poetic and unpretentious."* But Jonathan's practice usually does not actually allow narrowing down –– it consists of visual sequences, fragmentary stories, unusual perspectives that document moments of emotional importance, without really knowing why these moments seem so important. Jonathan has a talent in assembling not only motifs but also people: we met in 2015 at his project space DZIALDOV, where he showed a couple of his own sculptures that he had developed during the cleaning of his basement. Not long afterwards, I co-curated an exhibition at DZIALDOV together with Katja Kottmann. All of Jonathan's practices – art, curating, books, film-making – have a unique sense of sequencing images or objects, which may be rooted in his original training as a film editor. The following interview took place on occasion of his photography exhibition "~Vollmond" [~Full Moon] at Galerie Michael Janssen in Berlin, where we held an artist conversation.

*Feireiss in SE COSÌ FOSSE, 2018