start kontakt links   projekte vita statement portfolio presse
 

Arte Biotopo - Waldkunst
John K. Grande in: Arte.Es Magazine 4/2014, p.41-45

Before and after photography
Bay Area arts picks, April 21st 2011. In: San Francisco Chronicle

Major Glass Print show in San Francisco at Jenkins Johnson Gallery
23. 04. 2011. In: nonfigurativehoto blog.

I, Robot - Käthe Wenzel
Joe Nolan in: Nashville Scene, 19.-25. 11. 2009

Networked Music Review 11/2009
Helen Thorigton: Live Stage, John Roach and Käthe Wenzel

Press Release 11/2009
John Roach and Käthe Wenzel: Robo-Improvisation Arena

Fashion Show & Closing Night Party
upcoming.yahoo.com/event/453604/

Mixing Heresy and High Fashion.
Jay Michaelson, 31. März, 2008


The Jewish Museum: Off the Wall.
Andrew Ingall, 27. März 2008

Berliner Kunstsalon / Opening Reception
Christian Asbach in: vernissage.tv, 06. 10. 2006.

Käthe Wenzel: Fliegende Bauten.
In: berlin art info, September 2006.

Scaturro, Michael: Nothing but Net.
In: The Berlin Paper, 31. August 2006.

"Bestias" de Peso Cultural - Kulturelle Lastesel
In: El San Juan Star, 2. Oktober 2004.

"Noches" de Galería - Lange Nacht der Galerien
In: El Nuevo Día, 1. Oktober 2004.

Kornmeier, Uta: Black Market
In: The Ex-Berliner 12/June 2003.

Käthe Wenzel - Expositie mei Lokaal4.
In: Breed Uit April 2003. (Amersfoort - NL).

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Joe Nolan in: Nashville Scene, 19.-25. 11. 2009, S.43

I, Robot - Käthe Wenzel

At a recent show in a gallery in Brooklyn, audience members excitedly took the controls of robots armed with paintbrushes. The mechanical Matisses rendered an awkward musical score that improvising musicians then did their best to follow. If this all seems a little confusing, perhaps artist Kaethe Wenzel will have a clearer explanation of her shwo when she speaks at gallery Ftonight. looking bakc at two decades since the fall of the wall in Berlin, Wenzel(a Berliner) will speak to the issues facing German artists and audiences since reunification. A performance of some kind will follow. There is a good chance that Nashville Scene contributor Dave Maddox will have his saxophone in tow for Wenzel' s piece, and we have been assured that yes, there also will be robots.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Press Release:

John Roach and Käthe Wenzel: Robo-Improvisation Arena

Exhibition Dates: November 6 through November 15, 2009

“Have you ever controlled a robot or conducted an orchestra? ” Artists John Roach and Käthe Wenzel say, “You can do both in one go!” Their “Robo-Improvisation Arena” at Space on Dobbin turns the gallery into a “collective art coliseum.” The audience activates five remote-controlled robots, or “artbots”, designed by Berlin artist Käthe Wenzel. Bearing charged brushes and such heraldic names as “Pablo, Hellraiser Off Canvas”, “Fightin’ Gal Frida,” and “Andy Popsicle,” the artbots move around the 8 foot-square arena. As they pass magnetic fields in the installation, designed by sound artist John Roach, they trigger colored lights and signal musicians to improvise. But the musicians also must follow the artbots’ painted marks like an evolving graphic score.


The installation is a collectively operated system of color, sound, and movement. The result can be a duet between an artbot and a soloist, or an interactive symphony.


“I am interested in setting up open experiments that the audience completes,” says John Roach. “The results of this piece depend on your presence and your choices. You’re invited to embrace uncertainty, expectation and curiosity. You never know who’s in control.” For Käthe Wenzel, “Robo-Improvisation Arena” reflects the dynamics of urban life, which we all produce and participate in daily. It is also emblematic of the collective production of culture, crossing temporal, geographic, and personal boundaries. This points away from the mechanisms of the art market, including the role of the ‘heroic’ artist as the generator of art history.


The installation functions with live musicians performing on Friday Nov. 6th,, 6.30-9.30 PM (musicians: Irene Fong, John McQueeney, Paul Corio) & Friday Nov. 13th, 6.30-9.30 PM (musicians: Glendon Jones, Benjamin Bacon, Charles Goldman). At other times, visitors operate artbots accompanied by recorded music.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helen Thorigton in: Networked Music Review


Live Stage, John Roach and Käthe Wenzel

"Have you ever controlled a robot or conducted an orchestra? ” Artists John Roach and Käthe Wenzel say, “You can do both in one go!” Their “Robo-Improvisation Arena” at Space on Dobbin turns the gallery into a “collective art coliseum.” The audience activates five remote-controlled robots, or “artbots”, designed by Berlin artist Käthe Wenzel. Bearing charged brushes and such heraldic names as “Pablo, Hellraiser Off Canvas”, “Fightin’ Gal Frida,” and “Andy Popsicle,” the artbots move around the 8 foot-square arena. As they pass magnetic fields in the installation, designed by sound artist John Roach, they trigger colored lights and signal musicians to improvise. But the musicians also must follow the artbots’ painted marks like an evolving graphic score.

The installation is a collectively operated system of color, sound, and movement. The result can be a duet between an artbot and a soloist, or an interactive symphony.

“I am interested in setting up open experiments that the audience completes,” says John Roach. “The results of this piece depend on your presence and your choices. You’re invited to embrace uncertainty, expectation and curiosity. You never know who’s in control.” For Käthe Wenzel, “Robo-Improvisation Arena” reflects the dynamics of urban life, which we all produce and participate in daily. It is also emblematic of the collective production of culture, crossing temporal, geographic, and personal boundaries. This points away from the mechanisms of the art market, including the role of the ‘heroic’ artist as the generator of art history.

The installation functions with live musicians performing on Friday Nov. 6th,, 6.30-9.30 PM (musicians: Irene Fong, John McQueeney, Paul Corio) & Friday Nov. 13th, 6.30-9.30 PM (musicians: Glendon Jones, Benjamin Bacon, Charles Goldman). At other times, visitors operate artbots accompanied by recorded music.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

In: upcoming.yahoo.com/event/453604/

Fashion Show & Closing Night Party

Fashion designer Levi Okunov is one of the fashion industry's rising stars. His Fall 2008 line, which features pieces inspired by The Jewish Museum's renowned Torah Art and Hanukkah lamp collections, incorporates materials such as velvet and parchment to suggest textures and forms associated with traditional Judaica. The lining of several pieces feature stenciled and painted texts by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi translated into English, Arabic, and Yiddish. These passages represent the artist's wish for religious tolerance and cultural co-existence.His collaborators on the project include hair stylist, Almog, fabric desinger Sharon Ascher, crown designer Käthe Wenzel, makeup artist Linda Mason, and painter Rita Ackermann.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

31. März 2008

Jay Michaelson: Mixing Heresy and High Fashion:
Levi Okunov Dresses Women Up as Torahs

Last night's hottie-filled fashion show debuting Hasidic Levi Okunov's spring collection was, despite the shvitzing of a hundred Heebs packed into an auditorium, very cool. Kudos to Andy Ingall and the JuMu staff for turning what is often a highly un-cool space into a place where it seemed like something new and sexy was actually happening in real time. Kudos to Melissa Shiff for trancing us out to digital mandalas made of Hebrew letters and sacred objects. And kudos to whoever bought the free vodka.

But mostly, kudos to Levi Okunov himself, interviewed elsewhere on this site, and ably profiled by Jennifer Bleyer on Nextbook, who fused his Hasidic background and his audo-didactic fashion sensibility to create work that could've been novelty, could've been irony, but actually was art. Would that the vanity projects of some absurdly-funded Jewish narcissists were as careful to avoid the easy temptations of kitsch. What's the difference? Whereas aint-it-cool cultural kitsch is just a snide in-joke, Levi Okunov is actually trying to say something, to make something new.

To back up a little -- the Sabbatean heresy, which lasted from about 1665 to around 1820 (though there are still hidden Sabbateans today, some of whom are on Facebook) -- was, in large part, a secret mystical movement which laid the groundwork for Hasidism and preserved the antinomian ecstasy of Jewish messianism for over a century and a half. As the name implies, their central object of devotion was Sabbetai Sevi, who in 1666 counted 1/3 of all European Jews as his followers -- but who lost most of them when he converted to Islam rather than die at the hands of the Turkish sultan.

But devotion to Sabbetai was not the only point of the movement, especially after Sevi's death. Many Sabbateans believed that the redemption had come, and our job was to experience it now, by deliberately transgressing the laws of the old regime -- especially regarding sex. One of their notorious rituals involved having a young girl dress as the Torah, her breasts exposed, while (male) devotees danced around her kissing her breasts. This was, in a sense, a recorporealization. The Torah is itself a stand in for the Shechinah, the feminine aspect of God (a/k/a the Goddess): She wears a beautiful velour dress and a crown, and then at a special time, we take the dress off, open her parchment legs, and with our phallic pointer open her to reveal the secrets that lie between them.

Many of Okunov's designs are quite similar, placing the garments of the Torah upon a (half-undressed) beautiful woman. I know that Okunov isn't deliberately referencing the Sabbatean ritual (he told me so last night), but I'm struck by the similarity of inspiration. In a sense, both Okunov and the Sabbateans are simply responding to the feminine iconography of the Torah H/herself. But I think there is something more interesting going on in both cases, which is the re-universalizing of the particular, the transcription of the mythic into a realm that is deeper than myth and which underlies the Torah, the Sabbateans, contemporary fashion, and all the other iterations of eros which spiritual and aesthetic souls have devised.

Sabbateans, after all, are not just finding excuses to have sex; like all heretics, they are believers. Like Okunov, they are moved by beauty and eroticism, see them as gifts from God no less holy than the Torah itself. Okunov's post-Hasidic theology finds God everywhere (he told me that too), not just within the bounds of orthodoxy, and indeed, quite often in exactly those places which traditional law is so afraid of. In the hands of a lesser artist, dressing a woman up in the Torah's clothes would be an act of puerile rebellion. Oh boy, what a thrill, a woman in a Torah crown. But in the hands of a mystic, it is to take seriously the power of sexuality that makes religion worth doing in the first place -- and worth stealing back from the pious. (Not coincidentally, Sabbateanism extended its defiance of gender roles well beyond sexuality; women were in positions of leadership and power in the movement, and were as learned as men, even in the 18th century. Mysticism and liberation don't always go together, but here they did.) In an essay called "Renewal is not Heresy," Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, like Okunov a renegade ex-Chabadnik, tried to explain why his form of de-orthodoxed Hasidism was not Sabbateanism. To many of us, he never quite succeeded. Who knows, maybe a kind of neo-Sabbateanism -- here as a stand-in for celebrating the erotic, visceral essence of true religion outside the bounds of traditional law -- is the Jewish renewal that many of us have been looking for. If so, I hope Levi Okunov's designing the costumes. Or lack thereof.


____________________________________________________________________________________________

In: The Jewish Museum. Off the Wall 27. März 2008

Andrew Ingall: It was Fierce

Levi Okunov launched his Fall 2008 Collection at the Closing Night Party to an enthusiastic, sweaty crowd. Levi drew inspiration from the Museum's extensive collection of Torah crowns and Hanukkah lamps. Garment materials include Torah mantle velvet, parchment, hand-painted organza, and parachute fabric silkscreened with Rumi love poetry in English, Yiddish, and Arabic. Kudos to Almog for hair, Linda Mason for makeup, Sascha Ascher and Rita Ackermann for hand-painted fabrics, and Kaethe Wenzel for crowns. Melissa Shiff and Diwon, also artists-in-residence during Off the Wall, collaborated with Levi respectively with projected video mandalas and a live score. Afterparty included performances by Diwon (premiering "That Yemenite Kid," his Off the Wall project), Smadar, Miriam Zafri, and Y-Love. All photos courtesy of Adrian Nina. More after the jump.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Christian Asbach in: vernissage.tv, 06. 10. 2006

Berliner Kunstsalon / Opening Reception

Impressions of the opening of the "Berliner Kunstsalon", September 28, 2006. The Berliner Kunstsalon is an independent, off-mainstream art fair, exhibiting over 200 artists during Berlin's Autumn of the Arts. Princess Hans represents the performing arts at this opening, and the camera spends some time with the photographies of Jan Vanhöfen, Bertram Kober, and Gregor Brandler at the space of "fas" (Fotoakademie Am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin). Finally we meet Käthe Wenzel, a young object oriented artist who works with sugar, bones, wax, latex and other form(id)able materials. By VTV correspondent Christian Asbach.

Clip

________________________________________________________________

In: The Berlin Paper, 31. August 2006

Nothing but Net

von Michael Scaturro

Until 1 September: Net-kit shipped around the world and modified by each recipient hints at humans' role in architecture

The “Flying Buildings” exhibit at "artTransponder" is a 16-piece, string building kit that was shipped around the world six times and modified by each recipient as he or she saw fit (usually with knots). The resulting shape-shifting, soft work would seem to prove the creator Käthe Wenzel's thesis that “most architecture is soft” and that "cities and buildings are shaped by human needs, tastes, and interaction." Closes tomorrow. (tbp, 31 Aug 2006)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

El San Juan Star, 2. Oktober 2004

Bestias de peso cultural

von Melba Ferrer

No se preocupe que ellos estaban combatiendo temperaturas extremas, desde el sofocante calor de la calle al aire acondicionado del interior, según iban de una jurisdicción a la próxima en el Viejo San Juan. Vienen desde Alemania con sus cargas. Y están dispuestos a cargar a cualquier otro también.

Sabine Schlunk, Emil Gropoz, Anke Kalk, Sonja Hartmann, Käthe Wenzel, Peter Woelck y Niklas Goldbach, son un grupo de jóvenes artistas contemporáneos con sede en Berlín quienes estarán desplegando "One to Carry the Other´s Burden" ("Uno para cargar el peso de otro"), una exhibición que comienza el martes en la noche a las 7:00 en la alcaldía de San Juan, como parte de las presentaciones de Noche de Galería en el Viejo San Juan.

El espectáculo ofrece una buena idea de las actuales tendencias de arte en Alemania, ellas también revelarán eso, pero este también revelarán eso, pero este también demuestra que no importa de dónde vienen, artistas de todo el mundo están preocupados sobre la mismas cosas. Invitado poer el Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan, y auspiciado por el Istitut für Auslandsbeziehungen, el grupo ha estado trabajando durante más de un ano en su proyecto, el cual envuelve todo desde meditar sobre la identidad y el sí mismo, a la memoria.

"Uno para cargar el peso de otros" es una frase bíblica. "Pero no somos un grupo religioso", manifesta Gropoz, quien junto con Schlunk, Kalk y Hartmann se encontraban en la Isla para la exhibición. "Tomamos este tema y trabajamos, no en una forma religiosa. Lo comprendimos como un problema moderno". Trabajando durante un ano en el tema, el grupo trató de aclarar su significado y determinar lo mucho o lo poco que una persona puede llevar el peso de otros. Claro está, para cada uno significó algo diferente. "Es más una expresión sicologíca", manifiesta Schlunk sobre la interpretación de ella de la frase. "Siento que es más un asunto de empatía. Es una expresión sicológica con mi propia filosofía, también."

El tema del espectáculo llega en un momento en que los alemanes están pensando sobre sus identidades. "Se ajusta bastante bien", senala Gropoz. "Tuvimos esta unficación hace 15 anos. Tuvimos cambiar nuestros puntos de vista y renunciar a muchos." Kalk está de acuerdo, destacando que lo que una vez fue Alemania Oriental permanece menos desarollada, a pesar de la unificación. Las discrepancias permanecen todavía allí. "La discusión es porque ello no resultó", manifiesta ella. Ambos lados de una ahora unificada Alemania - en una ocasión separadas por décadas - se están cuestionando su sentido de identidad. "Mi país y ano existe", anade Schlunk, "Es una mezcla de dos sociedades, al igual que Puerto Rico". "Sin embargo no hacemos trabajo político", anfatiza Hartmann. "One to Carry the Other´s Burden" se presentará durante seis semanas.

(Übersetzung: Es macht ihnen nichts aus, dass sie mit extremen Temperaturen kämpfen müssen, aus der erstickenden Hitze der Strasse in die klimatisierte Luft drinnen, während sie sich von einem Bezirk von Alt San Juan in den anderen bewegen. Sie kommen aus Deutschland, beladen mit Gepäck. Und sie sind bereit, es allen anderen aufzuladen. Sabine Schlunk, Emil Gropoz, Anke Kalk, Sonja Hartmann, Käthe Wenzel, Peter Woelck und Niklas Goldbach sind eine Gruppe von Künstlerinnen und Künstlern mit Sitz in Berlin, die "One to Carry the Other´s Burden - Einer trage des Andern Last" eröffnen werden, eine Ausstellung, die am Dienstag Abend um 7 im Rathaus von San JUan eröfnnet, als Teil der Veranstaltungen der Nacht der Galerien in Alt-San Juan.

Die Veranstaltung vermittelt eine gute Vorstellung von den aktuellen Tendenzen der Kunst in Deutschland, auch dies, aber vor allem zeigt sich dass, gleich, woher sie kommen, die Künstler und Künstlerinnen sich auf der ganzen Welt mit ähnlichen Dingen befassen. Eingeladen vom Museo de Arte e Historia de San Juan, unterstützt durch das Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, hat die Gruppe seit mehr als einem Jahr an dem Projekt gearbeitet, das alles umfasst, vom Nachdenken über die Identität und sich selbst bis zur Erinnerung.

"Einer trage des Andern Last" ist ein Bibelzitat. "Aber wir sind nicht religiös," erklärt Gropoz, der sich zusammen mit Schlunk, Kalk und Hartmann zur Eröffnung auf die Insel gekommen ist. "Wir haben dieses Thema ausgesucht und dazu gearbeitet, aber nicht in religiöser Form. Wir haben es als modernes Problem aufgefasst." Während ihrer einjährigen Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema veruschte die Gruppe, seine Bedeutung zu verstehen und auszuloten, inwieweit jemand die Last des Andern tragen kann. Natürlich bedeutete das für jede und jeden etwas anderes. "Es ist mehr psychologisch,§ erklärt Schlunk ihre Interpretation des Zitats. "Ich empfinde das mehr als eine Angelegenheit des Mitfühlens. Es ist eine psychologische Interpretation auch miener eigenen Philosophie."

Das Thema der Veranstaltung trifft auf einen Moment, in dem sich die Deutschen Gedanken über ihre Identität(en) machen. "Es passt ganz gut dazu," sagt Gropoz. "Vor 15 Jahren hatten wir die Vereinigung. Wir mussten unsere Standpunkte überdenken und uns von vielen verabschieden." Kalk stimmt zu, und führt aus, dass das ehemalige Ostdeutschland wirtschaftlich noch immer weniger entwickelt ist, trotz Wiedervereinigung. Die Unterschiede bestehen noch immer. "Es wird diskutiert, warum das so ist," sagt sie. Beide Seiten des wiedervereinigten Deutschland - nach jahrzehntelanger Teilung - stellen ihre Identität in Frage. "Mein Land existiert nicht mehr," fügt Schlunk hinzu. "Wir haben jetzt eine Mischung aus zwei Gesellschaften, wie in Puerto Rico." "Trotzdem machen wir keine politische Kunst," betont Hartmann. "One to Carry the Other´s Burden wird sechs Wochen lang zu sehen sein.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

In: El Nuevo Día, 1. Oktober 2004

Noches de Galería

Este martes se celebra otra edición del concurrido evento. Así comienza Arte cubano, San Juan 2004, que recoge la producción de los artistas Yovanis Caisé, Lissett Román y Esteban Machado quienes de forma individual expondrán, a partir de las 6:00 p.m., en el Museo de Las Américas, sala 8, segundo piso del Antiguo Cuartel de Ballajá.

De otra parte los artistas alemánes Niklas Goldbach, Emil Gropoz, Sonja Hartmann, Anke Kalk, Käthe Wenzel, Sabine Schlunk y Peter Woelck unen esfuerzos en la muestra One to Carry the Other´s Burden: Arte Contemporàneo Alemàn, que inaugurará a las 7:00 p.m., en la Galerìa San Juan Bautista de la Casa Alcaldía sanjuanera.

El aprovechamiento de la iconografía, tanto de la realidad exterior como de la virtual, de los medios de comunicación masivos, la fotografía, el vídeo y diversas formas de armar obras de arte conforman la exposición que se extiende hasta el 14 de noviembre.

(Übersetzung: (...) Ausserdem vereinen die deutschen Künstler und Künstlerinnen Niklas Goldbach, Emil Gropoz, Sonja Hartmann, Anke Kalk, Käthe Wenzel, Sabine Schlunk und Peter Woelck ihre Anstrengungen in der Ausstellung One to Carry the Other´s Burden: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Deutschland, die um 19 Uhr in der Galerìa San Juan Bautista de la Casa Alcaldía in San Juan eröffnet.

Der Gebrauch der Ikonografie, der äußeren ebenso wie der virtuellen Realität, von Massenmedien, Fotografie, Video und diversen Formen der Kunstproduktion sind in dieser Ausstellung zu sehen, die bis zum 14. November dauert.)

______________________________________________________________________________________________

The Ex-Berliner 12/June 2003, S.36.

Black Market

by Uta Kornmeier

The bowl of fruit in this exhibition of new work by Käthe Wenzel is not recommended as refreshment, for it has passed its use-by date by several hours - hours spent in an oven at nearly 200°C. Charred but miraculously not burned it is a tongue-in-cheek-reference to Christ´s time in limbo and His Ascension. Do I hear cries of overinterpretation? Be assured the artist knows her iconography, having just completed a PhD in art history. Her work feeds off these little intellectual references and is particularly strong on the side of secular relics of a modernised Passion.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Breed Uit, April 2003

Käthe Wenzel - Expositie mei Lokaal4

Amersfoort - NL

Käthe Wenzel beweegt zich op het grensvlak van natuurwetenschap en kunst. Zij gebruikt wasafdrukken en afgietsels van lichaamsdelen en organen. Ze werkt met botten, haar, veren, suiker, rubber en brood. Haar objecten lijken zo uit een medisch laboratorium, een archief of een vreemdsoortig museum te komen. De verbluffende overeenkomst van de kunstobjecten met een medisch of archeologisch voorwerp, een bewijsstuk of gevonden voorwerp, doelt op een verwarring van vermeend helder gescheiden "domeinen". Dat leidt tot hernieuwde overwegingen over de verschillen en gemeenschappelijkheden van uitgangspunten.

______________________________________________________________________________________________