Katja Schenker — Guest Artist in the Sitterwerk

Summer 2009 – Artificial Sediments

Various processes of concentrating and transformating often play a central role in the works and performances of Katja Schenker. In her artistic re-engineering of materials, substances or objects in daily use, she employs unlikely approaches that she often develops as a result of a physical impulse. At the same time, she also utilizes cultural-historical or metaphorical elements of meaning that resonate in the materials, objects, processing techniques or designations of them that are employed. Thus, for example, in the case of the emergency parachute that she transformed and concentrated into a compact object ostensibly reminiscent of a life preserver by means of gathering and sewing it during a performance that lasted several hours. Or when she subtly draws the attention of observers to issues through interventions in farming or cultivated urban landscapes that hardly anyone has noticed or considered and may therefore exert a fascinating perplexity.

As guest artist in the Sitterwerk, Katja Schenker realized a work for the U-Topics sculpture exhibition in Biel. The small-format models that she employed to clarify questions of materials and develop her methods already convey an idea of the work that she finally realized in a size of two by two meters. From a precisely selected assembling of various materials, Katja Schenker produced a conglomeration bound together with cement, which resembles a conglomerate of rocks with various types and sizes of pebbles. For it, she excavated a 50-centimeter-deep pit and filled it with rocks, metal remains of casting, pieces of wood, etc. She collected and prepared the objects that she wanted to use for this during the first weeks of her stay in the studio based on meticulous research and lucky coincidences. Thus, for example, the femur of a cow was cleansed of all remains of meat by cooking it for many hours. From a quarry, came a collection of pieces of diverse stones, to be cut by the artist prior to the mixing. Wood in different forms, sizes and colors also formed part of the deliberately organized conglomeration.

The artist estimated a weight of around five tons, to afterwards be lifted from the pit and cut into a precise four-sided cube with a diamond saw. As a result of the exact cuts, the conglomerations, connections and concentrations of the objects only seemingly coincidentally employed and placed in the pit are directly intelligible for observers. (um)

Open studios of Michelle Grob, Katja Schenker and Katalin Deér
June 18, 2009, starting at 5pm

U-Topics, 11th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in BielAugust 30 to October 25; Vernissage on August 29, 2009

For «Edition 5», which for 15 years has regularly issued multiples limited to five copies in cooperation with artists such as Valentin Carron, Fabrice Gygi, San Keller or Roman Signer and many others, Katja Schenker is currently working on an edition of such artificial sediments.

Katja Schenker — Biography

*1968, Lives in Zurich
1999 / 2000 Auditing at the Zurich University of the Arts, field of study: visual art
1995 - 1996 Study at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes, Paris
1989 - 1997 Study at the University of Zurich, lic. phil. in the subjects of comparative studies, art history, philosophy

Stipends and Prizes
• Studio stipend, Sitterwerk, St.Gallen, 2009
• Work stipend from the UBS Culture Foundation,  
• Goldener Hase for the «Beste Landschaft 2005» from
    Hochparterre and Swiss Television DRS, Kulturplatz
• Swiss Art Award 2005
• Swiss Art Award 2004
• Swiss Art Award 2003
• Development Award of the Alexander Clavel Foundation, Riehen,
• Studio stipend of the Binz39 Foundation, Scuol Nairs, 1992

• Le Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, 25.9.2009 *
• Stromereien 09, Performance Festival Zurich, <freie Enden>,
• Forde Espace d'art contemporain Geneva, <freie Enden>, 19.5.2009
• Cabaret voltaire Zurich, <lüften>, 5.12.2008
• deSingel Antwerp, <lüften>, 26.4.2007
• Les bains Brussels, <lüften>, 17.6.2006
• ART Basel, <sauvée>, 16.6.2006
• Kunsthalle Zurich, <lüften>, 21.12.2005
• Points d'impact, Geneva, <Wirbel>, 10.6.2005
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, <lüften>, 6.6.2005
• Schweizerische Mobiliar, Bern, <füllen>, 8.3.2005
• Im Birch Schoolhouse, Zurich, <halten solange sie hält I + II>,
• Kunsthof Zurich, <füllen>, 21.6.2004
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, <Aufstand>, 8.6.2004
• Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, <überdreht>, 1.2.2004
• Architektur Forum Ostschweiz, St.Gallen, <reizen>, 17.11.2003
• Buchhandlung Krauthammer, Zurich, <halten solange sie hält>,
• International Performance Art, Willisau, <facile>, 23.8.2003
• Moutiers 2003, art en plein air, <überdreht>, 21.6.2003
Swiss Art Awards Basel, <durchtrieben>, 9.6.2003
• Swiss Institute for Art Research, Zurich, <reizen>, 20.5.2003
• Kunstmuseum Basel, <reizen>, 21.2.2003
• Projektraum exex, St. Gallen, <stopfen>, 20.2.2003
• mu.dac, Lausanne, <stopfen>, 7.12.2002
• mu.dac, Lausanne, <envers>, 6.12.2002
• Insel Ufenau, <rasen>, 1.8.2002
• Swiss Art Awards, Basel, <gern>, 5.6.2002
• Wenkenhof Riehen, da und dort, <beide>, 1.6.2002
• Stadtgalerie Bern, Bone 4 Performance Szene Schweiz, <draguer>,
• Kunsthalle Zurich, <weiche Knie>, 22.5.2001
• Zurich University of the Arts, 125-Jahr Feier, <orte>, 19.7.2000
• shed im eisenwerk, Frauenfeld, sabotage, <reizen>, 13.4.2000
• shed im eisenwerk, Frauenfeld, <envers>, 7.4.2000
• Circuit Lausanne, <reizen>, 4.12.1999

Exhibitions (selection)
• Toulouse, <Le Printemps de Septembre>, 25.9–18.10.2009 *
• Biel, <utopics, 11th Swiss Exhibition in the Public Space>,
    30.8–25.10.2009 *
• Kunstmuseum Solothurn, <Jahresausstellung 2008>,
• Kunsthalle Lucerne, <Kunscht isch gäng es Risiko (Risky
    Business Art)>, 5.9–5.10.2008
• Bern, <artpicnic>, 9.5–6.7.2008 *
• Kunstmuseum Olten, <Jahresausstellung der Solothurner Künstler
    und Künstlerinnen>. 2.12.2007–6.1.2008
• Kunsthaus Zürich, <Video Lounge. Künstlervideos aus der
    Sammlung des Kunsthaus Zürich>, 7.9–18.11.2007 *
• Helmhaus Zürich, <Werk- und Atelierstipendien der Stadt Zürich>,
• <Moutiers 2007 art en plein air>, 23.6– 23.9.2007 *
• Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, <Heimspiel Ostschweizer Kunstschaffen>,
• Neue Kunsthalle Wattwil, 15.9–10.2006
• Seedamm Kulturzentrum Pfäffikon, <Vom Schweifen der
    Linien. Zeitgenössische Zeichnungspositionen>, 5.3–7.5.2006 *
• Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, <Die Besten 05>,
    21.12.2005–8.1.2006 *
• Les Complices Zürich, Boutique - Art for the Masses,
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, 13.6–20.6.2005 *
• Centre PasquArt Biel, <Sammlung Moderne Kunst Seedamm
    Kulturzentrum>, 19.3–15.5.2005
• Schweizerische Mobiliar Bern, <Ladies first. Madonnen, Musen
    und Modelle>, 8.3–29.4.2005
• Seedamm Kulturzentrum Pfäffikon, 5.9–31.10.2004
    (with Chantal Michel) *
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, 14.6–21.6.2004 *
• Contemporary Art Center Vilnius, <Swiss Art Videolobby>,
    7.5–13.6.2004 *
• Kunstraum Baden, <Identität>, 30.4–13.6.2004
• Kunstmuseum / Kunsthalle / exex St. Gallen,
    <Heimspiel. Ostschweizer Kunstschaffen>, 5.12.2003–1.2.2004
• Centre pour l'image contemporaine Genf, <10e Biennale
    de l'Image en Mouvement>, 7–15.11.2003 *
• Landpartie No. 3, Zurich, 28.9–28.11.2003
• roentgenraum Zurich, <Behind the Wall>, 26.9–5.12.2003 *
• Textilmuseum St. Gallen, 24.9.2003–25.4.2004 *
• <Moutiers 2003. art en plein air>, 21.6–21.9.2003 *
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, 17.6–23.6.2003 *
• Projektraum exex St.Gallen, <schenker, schenker und schenker>,
• Dampfzentrale Bern, <V.I.D. Festival für Videokunst>,
• Swiss Art Awards Basel, 11–17. 6. 2002
• Garten auf der Insel Ufenau, perforum Pfäffikon,
    <flower power>, April–September, 2002
    (with Chantal Michel) *
• salle de bains @ Museum Bellerive Zurich, <überschäumen>,
    10.4–19.5.2002 *
• Helmhaus Zürich, <Sabina Baumann, Katrin Freisager, Cat Tuong  
    Nguyen, Katja Schenker>, 7.2–17.3.2002
• Helmhaus Zurich, <Wald Explosionen>, 30.11.2001–13.1.2002 *
• Center for Contemporary Art Plovdiv, Bulgaria
    <Communication Front 2001 / project of electronic and media art
    and theory>, 1–22.6.2001 
• roentgenraum, Zurich, <rest>, 29.9.–29.10.2000 *
• Swiss Art Awards, Basel, 20.6.–2.7.2000
• shed im eisenwerk, Frauenfeld, <sabotage>, 14.4.–19.5.2000 *
• Circuit Lausanne, <Présentation du Kunstsalon céleste & eliot de 
    Zurich>, 26.11.–18.12.1999
• Reading, Hilton Hotel Berlin / Shedhalle Zurich,
    <Tendencies in Love - Trends, Joys and Dilemmas
    in Contemporary Relationships>, Nov./Dec. 1999
• Reading, shed im eisenwerk, Frauenfeld, in the exhibition
    <Mentale Landschaften>, 1.7.1999
• Reading, ETH Zurich, Chair of German Language and Literature,
    <Holozän V>, 16.12.1998
• Reading, Theater an der Winkelwiese, Zurich, <Winkelwiese
    unterwegs>, 18.10.1998

Art and Architecture
• Work in the semi-public space, Kinderheim Brugg, 2009
• Work in the private space, Basellandschaftliche Gebäude
    Versicherung, Liestal, 2009 *
• Work in the semi-public space, Suworow-Haus in Altdorf,
• Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, 2007 *
• Work in the private space, PileUp am Rhein, Rheinfelden,
• Competition, Pestalozzi Site, Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich, 2007 *
• Work in the semi-public space, Bundesamt für Landestopografie
    Bern, 2003-2005 *
• Im Birch Schoolhouse, Zurich, Live-Art, 5.11.2004 *

Literature in the Art Library

Kulturplatz SFDRS