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Artists in Residence
6.2012


 Every year since 2004 a residency studio has been provided for foreign artists in the Zürich gas works district. The current artist, Ilja Karalampi from Sweden, sees the value of the environment located around the industrial quarter and his sculpture studio in Schlieren. The studio, founded by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Zürcher Bildhauer (AZB), offers the Berlin-based artist the possibility to develop his existing network in Zürich, along with a peaceful working atmosphere.


Ilja Karilampi - The Charm of the Peripheral


  
Ilja Karilampi in the AZB studio in Schlieren, 2012. Photo: Cat Tuong Nguyen


Ilja Karilampi (born 1983, Gothenburg) completed Tobias Rehberger's sculpture class at the Städelschule, Frankfurt between 2005 and 2012, and has since been moving between cities such as New York, London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Berlin and now Zürich. In answer to the question what interests him about the art scene, Karilampi answers that it's the mixture between playfulness and professionalism that inspires him. He is currently developing contacts that he initially began building a long time ago, with artists such as Mathis Altmann and Yngve Holen, and finds connections to the scene around the APNews space in Wipkingen, where he has recently shown his work. Alongside screenings of his films, Karilampi has shown his take on sculpture there, which appears as a prop from a narrative story, an anecdote or a documentary about the international 'neighbourhood'. The artist exchanged the glass door of the exhibition space for a wooden door that he had constructed himself, and had glued pages of his recently finished journal 'The Hunter in the Armchair' to.
Karilampi says that for him, the door is an important element. The handwriting points to the use, the designation of the room lying behind the door. Not least, questioning this allocation is an important intention of this work, because the party space and the exhibition space are supposed to enter into an osmotic relationship. The lived stories of his milieu and circle of friends are transformed into contemplative scenes in his installations. They are not literally depicting reality. Everyday life, music culture and parties become artistic documents.
The urban scene contrasts with the area surrounding his studio. When the 29 year old is riding his bike along the banks of the River Limmat from the city back to the gas works, he is greeted by peripheral industries of warehouses, art transport businesses and indoor climbing halls. This isolation offers Karilampi something that he can't often find within the urban frame of the art scene, namely the possibility to concentrate on his work. The artistic surroundings of the AZB are also interesting for the young artist. Although questions about new material in sculpture have been constantly raised at the Städelschule, and although he is working reductively, he respects how people around him continue to work on a large scale with stone, wood and other traditional materials. The fact that older artists are working on this scale fascinates him especially, Karilampi says pointing at the monumental sandstone block by Piero Maspoli, which stands on the square directly in front of his studio.
In general Karilampi feels comfortable in Zürich, through either exchange with artists, or through his own productivity which the place triggers in him. His artistic activity is also reflected in his physical activity, for example in his regular jogging tours through the Limmat valley.
And where can glamour be discovered in Zürich? The artist initially avoids the answer to this question, but later he offers a recommendation for the smallest major city in the world. Lil B will soon play the Longstreet Bar. The young rapper from San Francisco puts on a confusing play based around the cult of celebrity, through his self-invented 'based music' and a multitude of Twitter and MySpace pages, he pushes the limits of the music market. Karilampi is interested in this movement, which in his opinion has not yet found a proper equivalent within visual art. It will be possible to hear the artist DJing within his exhibition series 'Conditio Humana' in the Kunstkammer on his studio premises.


Kunstkammer Schlieren, Auftritt von Ilja Karilampi als DJ am 2.6. www.plastiker.ch
www.longstreetbar.ch

This interview is published with the support of the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia Moving Words for the Swiss advancement of translation.

Translation: Paul Harper

Deutsche Version



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Ausgabe 6  2012
Institutionen Kunsthalle Schlieren [Zürich/Schlieren/Schweiz]
Autor/in Pascal Häusermann
Künstler/in Ilja Karilampi
Weitersenden http://www.kunstbulletin.ch/router.cfm?a=130719154102AYF-7
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