CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #8: Ani Schulze

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #8: Ani Schulze

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media artistic work in NRW (North Rhine-Westfalia) visible. For many years and decades, outstanding positions in this field have been located in the region, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet some of these artists and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this provides an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In previous episodes, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten, video artist and photographer Nico Joana Weber, performance artist Vanja Smiljanić, photographer Axel Braun, artist Isabella Fürnkäs, collective sputnic, filmmaker Silke Schönfeld and media artist Vesela Stanoeva. This spring, we had the pleasure to meet artist Ani Schulze for a new episode.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #8: Ani Schulze in conversation with Haris Giannouras

In conversation with curator Haris Giannouras in her studio at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Ani Schulze, the current media art fellow of the state of NRW, talks about her artistic practice, in which she draws on a versatile spectrum of different approaches such as painting, drawing, video, sculpture and installation. The interplay of fact and fiction, which is always relevant in Ani Schulze’s works, is playfully brought to light in her hybrid narratives. In her works, she presents a mixed world of historical figures and their performers, historical facts and anecdotes, and real and fictional spaces. For her latest film, The Convent of Pleasure, Ani Schulze examined Margaret Cavendish’s 17th century comedy of the same name, highlighting the role of female artists of the time. This work, which is the focus of the conversation with Haris Giannouras for the eighth episode of the media artists’ portraits CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, will be on view from 21 October 2023 as part of an exhibition at the Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne.

Ani Schulze works with painting, video, sculpture and installations. Recent solo exhibitions include “Snake Charming” in the gallery Lehmann + Silva (Porto 2023); “Lovers & Hunters”, Kunstverein Siegen (DE, 2021); “Hang in there, baby”, A Certain Lack of Coherence, Porto (PT, 2021); “Flint House Lizard”, Basis, Frankfurt (DE, 2019); “Flint House Lizard”, I: Project Space, Beijing (CN, 2019) and “7 Follies”, Artothek, Köln (DE, 2019). Her work has been shown in group exhibitions taking place at Hamburger Kunsthalle; Fundacion Botin, Santander; Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt and Extra City Kunsthalle, Antwerpen, amongst others. She received scholarships, prizes and residencies by Goethe Institut China, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Kunstgiesserei/ Sitterwerk St. Gallen and HBK Braunschweig, amongst others.
Find out more about Ani Schulze

Haris Giannouras collaborates closely with artists taking on the role of writer, curator, producer, and educator. He is currently working on a doctoral dissertation at the Department of Art History at the University of Cologne with the title Painting and the 1990s: Quotes and Borrowings Reconsidered. Past collaborations include (selection): Andrea Büttner, Beth Collar, Jamie Crewe, Maria Lassnig Estate, Stefano Faoro, Olivier Foulon, Beatrice Gibson, Oliver Husain, Onyeka Igwe, Eleanor Weber Ivory, Hiwa K, Ellen Yeon Kim, Lin & Lam, Ghislaine Leung, Rita McBride, Cana Bilir-Meier, Karī Mugo, Phung-Tien Phan, Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Marc Siegel, Monika Stricker, Studio for Propositional Cinema, Megan Francis Sullivan, Mark van Yetter.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #7: Vesela Stanoeva

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #7: Vesela Stanoeva

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media artistic work in NRW (North Rhine-Westfalia) visible. For many years and decades, outstanding positions in this field have been located in the region, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet some of these artists and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this provides an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In previous episodes, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten, video artist and photographer Nico Joana Weber, performance artist Vanja Smiljanić, photographer Axel Braun, artist Isabella Fürnkäs and collective sputnic as well as Dortmund-based filmmaker Silke Schönfeld. This spring, we had the pleasure of meeting media artist and curator Vesela Stanoeva at the exhibition she curated, Neun Sonnen (Nine Suns), at Dortmunder U.


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #7:
Vesela Stanoeva in conversation with Esra Canpalat

Immersive, installative, collaborative and multisensory: the wide-ranging work of media artist, scenographer and curator Vesela Stanoeva is best experienced on site. We were all the more pleased to meet her and author Esra Canpalat in January at the exhibition Neun Sonnen – Erzählungen utopischer, digitaler Welten (Nine Suns – Narratives of Utopian, Digital Worlds) at the uzwei space at Dortmunder U. The exhibition showed 11 artistic positions, woven into a multi-sensory staging. The aim was to explore new ways of relating to our environment and to bridge the gap between human and non-human actors. In doing so, the exhibition presented itself as an immersive space in which visitors could develop new visions of the future and enter into communication with the works. In the new episode CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, you will learn more about the exhibition and her other projects in the field of media art from Vesela. We also find out about the title Nine Suns and the pink, pretzel-shaped seating landscape.

Vesela Stanoeva is a digital artist, scenographer and curator. She creates speculative worlds in immersive installations and performances using moving image, CGI, gaming software, installation and virtual and augmented reality. Through her artworks, Stanoeva addresses the uncertain future of the post-anthropocene. Vesela was a fellow at the Academy for Theater and Digitality in Dortmund in 2020/21, and subsequently co-curated the immersive and interactive exhibition “Welcome to Paradise” at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf in 2021. Vesela has presented her work in numerous museums, including the Lichtkunstmuseum Unna and the NRW Forum Düsseldorf. In addition, her works have been on display at various festivals, including VRHAM!, the Next-Level Festival for Games, and the NEW NOW Festival for Digital Arts. Together with Elisabeth Drache, she founded the artist collective Die Ruhrgebieterinnen.
More about Vesela

Esra Canpalat is an author and literary scholar from the Ruhr region. She writes stories, essays, reviews, academic and cultural education pieces. Her main topics include inter- and transculturality, anti-racism, gender and feminism. Esra is a winner of the Ruhr 2021 Literary Award and placed 3rd in the literary competition “60 Years of Migration from Turkey – New Hopes”. She is currently working on a novel about (post)migrant memory and intergenerational trauma.
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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #6: Silke Schönfeld

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #6: Silke Schönfeld

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media artistic work in NRW (North Rhine-Westfalia) visible. For many years and decades, outstanding positions in this field have been located in the region, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet some of these artists and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this provides an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In previous episodes, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten, video artist and photographer Nico Joana Weber, performance artist Vanja Smiljanić, photographer Axel Braun, artist Isabella Fürnkäs and collective sputnic. We are now pleased to introduce the work of Dortmund-based artist: Silke Schönfeld.


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #6: Silke Schönfeld
in conversation with Winnie Herbstein

Artists Silke Schönfeld and Winnie Herbstein met during a residency at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. Two years later, they came together in the Hafenkombüse, Dortmund, for the filming of the sixth episode CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, to talk about Silke Schönfeld’s works and installative settings. In her cinematic work, which borders on the documentary, the Dortmund filmmaker examines, among other things, cultural traditions and customs that take place “on the doorstep.” Be it the “historical monk processions” for which club members still meet in Oybin, Saxony, or the May Day customs in the Lower Rhine region, which consists of a symbolic “auction” of all the single women in the village. The relationships that develop with the protagonists in the process and the resulting questions about responsibility as a filmmaker are central themes in the conversation between the two.

Silke Schönfeld studied fine art at the art academies of Münster and Düsseldorf. From 2020-2022 she was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam. Her filmic productions are political reflections that often take place in unexpected spatial and temporal references. Schönfeld’s films and video installations are shown internationally in exhibitions and film festivals, including the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (2020/2022), Folkwang Museum, Essen (2016), HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein (2020) and in Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2017). More info about Silke

Winnie Herbststein is an artist and filmmaker. Her work focuses on historical and contemporary forms of organising, in relation to the built environment and the occupation of space. More info about Winnie

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #5: sputnic

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #5: sputnic

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media artistic work in NRW (North Rhine-Westfalia) visible. For many years and decades, outstanding positions in this field have been located in the region, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet some of these artists and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this provides an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In previous episodes, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten, video artist and photographer Nico Joana Weber, performance artist Vanja Smiljanić, photographer Axel Braun and artist Isabella Fürnkäs. Now the medienwerk.nrw office presents a new episode of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS with Isabella Fürnkäs. Isabella Fürnkäs treffen. Wir freuen uns sehr, nun ein Kollektiv aus Krefeld vorstellen zu dürfen, das ein besonderes Genre der darstellenden Künste exploriert:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #5: sputnic

For the new episode CLOSE ENCOUNTERS we climbed over the rooftops of Krefeld, into the beautiful workshop of sputnic. The collective, founded in 2004 and consisting of media artists and designers Malte Jehmlich, Nicolai Krahwinkel and Nils Voges, has made the genre of Live Animation Cinema its own and developed numerous productions such as “IOTA.KI” or “Die Möglichkeit einer Insel”. In sputnic’s works, analogue and digital technologies are used and deployed both scenographically and performatively to create new visual worlds and narratives before the eyes of the audience. Instead of hiding the necessary props and technology behind the stage, the technical processes are brought to the fore and revealed. To find out more, Klaas Werner (Office medienwerk.nrw) talked to Nils and Malte about their futuristic narratives, installations and creative use of artificial intelligence.

sputnic are the three media artists and designers Malte Jehmlich, Nicolai Krahwinkel and Nils Voges, who as a collective develop new scenographic stagings and installations with the development of media and stage spaces. In doing so, they experiment with crossover projects that combine analog, digital and media means to create narratives and visual worlds on stage. With the production “The Possibility of an Island,” the collective created a new genre in theater and film in 2015: live animation cinema. The production “IOTA.KI” was awarded “best production 2019” at the HART AM WIND Festival in Kiel and included in the official program of the Ruhrfestspiele 2020. Sputnic’s work has been shown at the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum Krefeld, the European Media Art Festival Osnabrück and the Leopold Museum Vienna. The New York Times reported on the interactive game installation “Racer 0.2” in 2010. In 2011, sputnic received the Critics’ Prize of the City of Dortmund for the staging of the series “City without Money”.

Find more information on sputnic on sputnic.tv

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #4: ISABELLA FÜRNKÄS

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #4: ISABELLA FÜRNKÄS

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media artistic work in NRW (North Rhine-Westfalia) visible. For many years and decades, outstanding positions in this field have been located in the region, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet some of these artists and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this provides an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In previous episodes, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten, video artist and photographer Nico Joana Weber, performance artist Vanja Smiljanić and photographer Axel Braun. Now the medienwerk.nrw office presents a new episode of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS with Isabella Fürnkäs.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #
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In a brand-new episode of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, we had the pleasure of meeting the artist Isabella Fürnkäs at her parents’ house in Cologne. Isabella’s work consists of equal parts videos, multimedia installations, performances and drawings. Her works have been exhibited at the Folkwang Museum, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Sprengel Museum, the 13th Biennale of Contemporary Art Dakar and the project space of the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf, among others.

On a walk with journalist Beate Scheder, she discusses recurring motifs in her artistic works. Together they explore, among other things, the meaning of objects such as the Go game or the bed as a symbol of private space and, based on this, develop questions about intimacy, interpersonal relationships and the influence of modern communication technologies.

Isabella Fürnkäs is a German-French artist who works with a variety of media. Her work has been exhibited at the Folkwang Museum, Kunsthalle Wien, Sprengel Museum, Museum Abteiberg, the 13th Dakar Biennale for Contemporary Art and the Julia Stoschek Collection Project Space in Düsseldorf. Her performances have most recently been shown at Salon Acme in Mexico City, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Manifesta 11, Akademie der Künste der Welt and Pogobar KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin.

Find more Info on the artist on isabellafuernkaes.com

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #3: Axel Braun

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #3: Axel Braun

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS portrais the wide range of media artistic work in NRW. For many years and decades, the region has been home to outstanding positions in this field. It is a great pleasure for us to meet some of the artists behind those works and present them in video portraits. Step by step, this will provide an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In May we were able to accompany the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten to a special filming location near the Hambach Forest. This was followed in summer by a double episode with the artists Nico Joana Weber and Vanja Smiljanić. We are now looking forward to going deeper into conversation with the Essen artist Axel Braun.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #3
Climate change is extremely central to the question of how we want to live in the future. All the more moving is the work of Axel Braun, who in the third episode of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS presents some of his projects related to ecological issues in a studio discussion with Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Head of Office medienwerk.nrw). Together, the two delve deeper into the artist’s working practice, which deals with the long-term consequences of human influence on nature and its complex causes. Axel Braun examines impressive landscapes such as glaciers or forest areas and large infrastructure projects in case studies. He interviews experts in this field and brings his photo and video productions into a dialogue with archive materials and current research results. In this way, he makes the clear traces of the Anthropocene visible in different regional contexts and makes their historical, social, economic and political interconnections tangible.

Axel Braun is an artist and photographer. He studied at Folkwang University of the Arts and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. With a growing collection of case studies, he attempts to trace the path of humanity into an age of the earth determined by humaniuty itself. In addition to ecological issues, he is particularly interested in the political, economic, social and cultural implications of the processes involved. He presents the results of his work in mixed-media installations, artist books and lecture performances.

More info on Axel’s works on www.axelbraun.org

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.1: Nico Joana Weber

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.1: Nico Joana Weber

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media art in NRW visible. For many years and decades, the region has been home to outstanding artistic positions in this field, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet and present the artists in our video portraits. Step by step, this will provide an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In May, we joined the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten to a special filming location near the Hambach Forest.

Now Office medienwerk.nrw presents two new episodes of the series with the artists Nico Joana Weber and Vanja Smiljanić. With curators Kerstin Meincke and Nada Schroer, the two fellows of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for Media Art (2018 and 2019) talk about selected projects from recent years and what moves their work.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.1

Artist Nico Joana Weber and curator and scientist Kerstin Meincke recall their joint research trip to Nigeria, during which the artist investigated traces of colonial history in architecture. The legibility of such structures and their transformative significance in urban space in cities such as Paris, Lagos or Ibadan is a recurring theme in the works of Nico Joana Weber. The conversation focuses on her work Tropic Telecom, in which one explores a Parisian suburb alongside an extraordinary protagonist on the threshold between documentary and fiction.

Nico Joana Weber works with video, photography and multimedia spatial installations. She studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths College in London and completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2013. In her work, she negotiates the aesthetic and political imprints of architecture and landscape in transcultural contexts.

More info about the artist on nicojoanaweber.com

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.2: VANJA SMILJANIĆ

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.2: VANJA SMILJANIĆ

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The web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS makes the wide range of media art in NRW visible. For many years and decades, the region has been home to outstanding artistic positions in this field, and it is a great pleasure for us to meet and present the artists in our video portraits. Step by step, this will provide an overview of the diversity of media art that is characteristic of NRW. In May, we joined the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten to a special filming location near the Hambach Forest.

Now Office medienwerk.nrw presents two new episodes of the series with the artists Nico Joana Weber and Vanja Smiljanić. With curators Kerstin Meincke and Nada Schroer, the two fellows of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for Media Art (2018 and 2019) talk about selected projects from recent years and what moves their work.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #2.2

At the artist’s invitation, the conversation between Vanja Smiljanić and curator Nada Schroer took place in Vanja’s Cologne studio. Together they reflect – in a creative environment – on the artist’s way of working, which often revolves around spiritual movements and historical practices as well as the transfer of these practices into a contemporary context. In the process, Vanja Smiljanić takes the audience on a journey in films, installations and performances. In the interview, she shares thoughts on her own experiences in the field of Past-Life Therapy and talks to Nada Schroer about what she takes away from her work with different communities.

Vanja Smiljanić is a visual and performance artist. She concluded the post-master in Artistic research at A.pass, Brussels, MFA at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI), Arnhem and Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln and got a degree in Fine Arts at the Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa. Smiljanić’s focus is in interdisciplinary projects and her research lies in cross methods within the fields of visual arts, video and performance.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #1: JANA KERIMA STOLZER AND LEX RÜTTEN

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #1: JANA KERIMA STOLZER AND LEX RÜTTEN

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The new web series CLOSE ENCOUNTERS aims to visualize the wide range of media arts in NRW. For many years and decades, the region has been home to outstanding positions in this field. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS presents video portraits of the artists behind the projects – with their practices, thoughts, and questions. Four times a year, this dialogical space opens up, in which artists share their ideas with the audience at different locations and with changing conversation partners. The result is a mosaic-like overview of the diversity of media art that characterizes NRW.

In spring 2021, for the first episode of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS #1, we will accompany the two artists Jana Kerima Stolzer and Lex Rütten to the surface mine surrounding Hambacher Forst: an environment that forms the foundation of the work “Pawāaraibu-filling the vacuum”. Curator Marijke Lukowicz (Emscherkunstweg) spoke with the duo from Dortmund about their artistic work.

Lex Rütten & Jana Kerima Stolzer have been working together as an artist duo for four years. The starting point of their multimedia installations and performances is often the intertwining of humans with their technological environment and the resulting narratives and emotional challenges. In the past, the duo has realized projects both in the independent theater scene and in exhibition contexts.

More info about the artists on thisisinternet.de