Studio Research:

Katrin Keller


We are pleased to present the works of Katrin Keller in the first of our Studio Research series, which features work in progress presentations by invited artists. Please join us for a presentation of her works in progress to be displayed at the Footnote Centre for Image and Text on Monday 25 January at 7 p.m. 

Katrin Keller carefully collects, archives and studies the permanent and the ephemeral matter found in different environments. Smoke, graphite, sedimentary rocks, drawings of volcanoes, seismic graphs, ceramic tiles, colourful nylon bags are all raw material for her artistic investigations. Textures smooth and coarse, apparitions and casts, sound projections, simulated charts, dripping landscapes. Assimilation of the traces and fractions of the natural world are juxtaposed with man-made objects for monitoring and studying these curious artifacts. A wonder cabinet in a living room. Sketches and observations about the world of natural phenomena that Keller makes provide an insight into the eclectic sensibility of the artist, whose interests span from mundane surfaces of our daily lives to visualization of the extraordinary scientific data. 


Katrin Keller graduated from the Lucerne School of Art and Design from the Bachelor in Art and Interpretation and finished her studies in 2012 after completing the Master of Arts in Fine Arts. She works as an independent artist and arts mediator. Katrin Keller’s work is predominantly context and site-specific and combines different media like drawing, video and objects in installation. In 2017 Katrin Keller got the Residency Grant of the Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden and stayed in Iceland as artist in residence for half a year. She exhibited among others at Kunsthalle, Luzern; Nextex, St.Gallen; Freiraum Museumsquartier 21 international, Vienna, Austria; Gallery SÍM, Reykjavík. Katrin Keller *1985, lives and works in Lucerne (CH).



KATRIN KELLER – Interview by Milica Lapčević

(ML) How was your experience of Belgrade - what were your ideas at the beginning of your stay, and what changed towards the end of it?

(KK) I already knew Belgrade a little bit. In this respect, my idea of the place has not changed much. But of course during the six months I spent there, I learned a lot about the city, its history, and the current situation in Serbia. Once again, an important insight is that things are always more complex than perhaps assumed.  


(ML) Are there new ideas that you have developed during your stay in Belgrade?

(KK) Yes, for example, the large-scale drawings of smoke abstractions. In Belgrade I noticed the different pictograms for smoking prohibited or smoking allowed. I am interested in these representations of smoke and I will continue this series of drawings based on the different pictograms collected in Belgrade.

(ML) Were You satisfied with space for exhibiting at Footnote residence?

(KK)  Yes.


(ML) The samples of work that we could see there represent your great interest in textures and  advanced or applied drawing techniques. How important is drawing as an oldest technique for your artistic practice?

(KK) Drawing for me is a seismographic act. That is, a direct trace of a movement and time. It is a medium that I always find important in my practice. I find drawing particularly exciting in combination with other media, because through the combination the character of drawing becomes the subject. At the same time, drawing is somehow anachronistic. I like that. 

(ML) When an artist works in the studio, how important or difficult is to „separate" some works and articulate them to be exhibited in front of audience - Studio work often an intimate and secluded exploration; what is the relation of your working process to the outcome?

(KK) Showing works from a working process in public means exposing oneself, putting the artistic position and thus also the working method and one's own person up for discussion. That always takes a lot out of me. At the same time, I find these presentations extremely valuable. Such presentations can be helpful for the further work process. Feedback and discussions help to make decisions with regard to further work. 


(ML) In your work 'lightbox' we see 45 small drawings that remind us both of the experiment, but also of a visual diary. What were the circumstances or ideas  behind this piece?

(KK) This work is a playful visual collection based on images around the theme of seismology that accompanied me during my work in Belgrade. They are notes, small drawing experiments on this topic, based on image and text research. Each of these small-format images has the potential to become the starting point for a larger realization in the future. 


(ML) What is Your favourite medium of work and how do you decide about technique that you will use in expressing certain visual ideas?

(KK) I work conceptually and choose media / technique depending on the question or statement I want to express with a work. In this sense I have no preferred medium.