Bending Space: Lights, Camera, Refraction!

I was drawn to Katinka Pilscheur at the very beginning; I knew we had something in common. From one picture, titled Raw Materials, I knew this was my childhood: it is a stack of Styrofoam, plywood, glass and the various building blocks of housing. Those layers appear like flattened memories, the suffering of hard labor but the joy of understanding a day's worth of true work. It's art fair season in Berlin and, not surprisingly, I found Katinka preparing for an upcoming exhibition running along with Berlin Art Week.   

If It's Not Broken Don't Fix It

APs: How do you feel about the ever changing architecture in Berlin?

Katinka PilscheurIt was Berlin that inspired me in the 90’s – all of the destruction that was slowly being rebuilt into something hopefully spectacular, but in the end it all just looks terrible! [laughs]

Artist Katinka Pilscheur captures my childhood with 'Raw Materials.' Photo: Bernd Borchert

APs: If this space was filled with water, how would this change this work?

KP: It is difficult, this idea. I work in the Immediate and try to live in the moment; the now. It has to be there in front of me to feel the energy of it.

The small scale model of Katinka Pilcheurs next work. Photo: Chris Phillips

Pilscheur creates something of stature from the pieces of everyday norm and viewing. It's the rebirth of Berlin’s scenes of construction; the wait for something wondrous and the result of something mundane. I look up at the ivory tower of refracted light and metal only to feel dismay and lower my eyes. Change is more than just the world building up around us; it lies at the very core and center of our being. 

Artist Katinka Pilscheur's work 'Dortmunder Kunstverein' Photo: Bernd Borchert

APs: What kind of material would you be if you had to be one?

KP: My work is a connection between body and mind. In my mind I would be metal – analyzing and building up ideas. Body wise I am more wood – you can shape it and cut it; more warm.

The New & The Now

While I didn't have a chance to view the actual finished work of Pilscheur (only her to scale wooden model), she tells me that plans to create an unease in our legs with hand-painted white steel; in total, 480 hand-drilled holes to create the structure. Upon installation, the form of the cube will be set randomly in those holes and the perfectly symmetrical space will be transformed. An aluminum sheet appears lacquered with BMW's midnight blue, refracting light from self-bent and self-bonded steel arcs fitted with neons. We will witness the shift of a solid state into a nameless liquid form; the balanced equilibrium of the mind questioned. The idea of how she will complete this work still plagues me.

What will Pilcsheurs next work be? Be sure not to miss it! Photo: Chris Phillips

APs: What do you do with your works after?

KPUsually they disappear, that's what makes the moment even more special. But with this new work, it won't disappear. This is the first time I will use high end materials I can keep! Maybe my work needed something less ordinary.

This will not be the work for the faint hearted, of that I'm sure. So while Pilscheur steps back to breathe and admire a pinnacle in her career, we invite you to partake – as it seems that my work as viewer has only just begun.

[Price range of works: 1,700 – 30,000 Euros]

Article by Tristan Boisvert