Thursday, April 20, 2017

Update / Overview

I've been terribly behind with updating my work web presence... Too much going on!
Here a quick overview of what I've been up to in the last months. More and extended soon... ;)

March 2017
BLUR - Choreography by Joanna Lesnierowska. Premiere at Art stations Foundation, Poznan.
Set design/ Costume design.

February 2017
Valeska's Blind Date - Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz, Berlin.
Final presentation Valeska Gert professorship Meg Stuart, Freie Universität Berlin.
Visual support - costuming and spatial design.

February 2017
Irrational Landlordism - Dock11, Berlin
Performance hosted in collaboration with Maria F. Scaroni and Peter Pleyer.
Costuming, spatial design, live painting, performance.

December 2016
Moving the Mirror - In Between Festival, Wroclav.
Collaboration, group piece.
Performance/ Visual interventions.

November 2016
Moving the Mirror - Center for Contemporary Art CCA Zamek, Warsaw. Residency, performances.
Collaboration, group piece.
Performance/ Visual interventions.

October 2016
All Inclusive - Choreography by Julian Weber. premiere Uferstudios Berlin.
Costume design.

September 2016
The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight - Choreography by Jess Curtis/ Claire Cunningham. 
Premiere at Tramway, Glasgow, UK. Tour: London - Royal Festival Hall. San Francisco - Counter Pulse. Berlin - Tanzfabrik.
Set design/ Costume design.

June 2016
I See Red - Malta Festival, Poznan.
In collaboration with Peter Pleyer and Andrea Keiz.
Performance/ Visual Interventions.

Monday, April 03, 2017

BLUR / Costume and Set Design

In March I designed the set and the costume for BLUR, a solo choreographed by Joanna Lesnierowska and performed by Aleksandra Borys. It premiered 30th March 2017 at Art Station Foundation, Poznan, Poland. I created an assembled wall, consisting of 14 suspended panels, and a yellow jacket between a garment and an autonomous acting object.

From the program:
"Although the principle of ‘blur’ has been introduced into the tradition of European painting already by da Vinci’s sfumato-technique, it is however only after Gerhard Richter (in whose work the phenomenon of out-of-focus and hazy images took such a dominant role) that the blurred surface has become one of central motives in both figurative and abstract paintings as well as photography and post-photography of nowadays. Artists employ the means of blurring intentionally, in different combinations, and following different conceptual and technical strategies. Blurred surfaces, dissolving contours, hazy appearances, indistinct motifs in a state between apparition and dissolution, chaotic accumulation and constant overdose of equally important and unimportant details, dispersed visions and meanings, and aspects of color and composition brought to the fore – with all this in mind, we entered the studio to examine possibility of ‘blur’ in the context of body and choreography."

Photo: Jakub Wittchen

All photos (unless noted otherwise): Michiel Keuper, 2017

Concept/composition: Joanna Leśnierowska
performed by: Aleksandra Borys
set & costume design: Michiel Keuper
light: Joanna Leśnierowska (with research input by Jan Maertens)
sound & technical realization: Łukasz Kędzierski
voice coaching: Katarzyna Sitarz
graphic design: Michał Łuczak
production: Joanna Leśnierowska
coproduction: Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk
with support of: wpZimmer Antwerp, Visegrad Artist Residency Program for Performing Arts  (VARP-PA)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

JOSEPH Le Blog / Picture This - interview

JOSEPH Le Blog - Picture This // Michiel Keuper - screen shot

My Instagram account is featured in the section Picture This on JOSEPH Le Blog; for link click here.
Below the full interview about images that catch my eye, how I juxtapose my account and why I coined the term visual composer to describe my work.

Michiel Keuper - Untitled, 2016, acrylic and ink on magazine.

I am fascinated by juxtapositions. Juxtapositions of color, material, content, atmosphere and often a combination of them all. The moment when single components add up and create something unexpected, something new. The moment when 1 + 1 becomes 3. The moment when the sum is greater than the parts.
My Instagram posts are often spontaneous, but never random. Though I never post something I don't like to start with, for my IG account I select images for how they relate to each other in the grid, and not so much for their single value. In fact I spend most of the time in my image files and not in the app itself. I spend hours shuffling and reshuffling my preselection until I find a satisfying order. This is a rather intuitive process, almost like painting. Often the order changes per day. Each post evokes a next one. Sometimes I find images that I love and I'm dying to post, but when they don't fit the stream I keep them in the mix for days or even weeks. Often it means I'll have to find other images first, to complement them. It's a matter of patience and restraint, waiting for the right moment.
[text continues after the image]

JOSEPH Le Blog - Picture This // Michiel Keuper - screen shot

It's almost like making a puzzle. I often call it my daily image sudoku. Because not only do the single images relate to their left and right neighbors, the IG grid changes order with every post, it creates horizontal, vertical and diagonal connections. It's about finding a rhythm, a stream, it's about the total. After a while I started to realize that my IG gallery as such has become a work in itself. The sum is greater than the parts.

One of my favorite books is the facsimile of Hannah Höch's 'Album' from 1933, in which she magnificently juxtaposes found imagery. Inspired by her I made collage books as well. My Instagram has become a digital version of that same idea.

[text continues after the image]

JOSEPH Le Blog - Picture This // Michiel Keuper - screen shot


Initially my eye gets hooked on the composition of an image, the use (or lack) of color, the atmosphere, emotion or content it conveys. Furthermore, for my IG specifically, I select images that will work on a thumbnail format, since most people use IG on the small screen of their phone. Generally I'm drawn to lesser known images and artists. Therefore I try to be as accurate as possible with credits. Occasionally I post my own work, but only when it fits in the stream.
[text continues after the image]

Michiel Keuper - Untitled, 2016, acrylic and ink on magazine.


I coined the term visual composer, because in essence this is the red thread that connects my work: it's always visual and I'm composing images. Working in many fields, using various media, blurring the lines between art, design, performance etc., I guess I've become kind of a hybrid creator. Whether I create fragmented designs like I used to do in my Paris times, compose an image on a canvas or on a T-shirt, create a spatial design for a dance performance, or juxtapose images on my Instagram account, I'm making visual compositions. 

JOSEPH Le Blog - Picture This // Michiel Keuper - screen shot

JOSEPH Le Blog - Picture This // Michiel Keuper - screen shot

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dapper Dan #14/ Opinions & Inspirations contribution

Dapper Dan  #14, 2016/2017, cover

In the summer I was invited to contribute to Dapper Dan's Opinions & Inspirations section for their upcoming issue. I immediately thought of my first series of over-paintings I made when I transitioned from working in the fashion industry towards an autonomous way of working.

The issue just came out. Very happy to see my story and image in print. 
Thank you Dapper Dan!

Michiel Keuper - From the Past Present (Past Presence) series, 2010, ink and acrylic on magazine

My story to the image: 


In October 1989, during my first months in college, I read an interview with neurobiologist and Nobel prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini, then 80. What resonated with me most was her interpretation of ‘The Choice’ by William Butler Yeats, a poem she quotes in her autobiography;

The intellect of man is forced to choose/ 
Perfection of the life, or of the work,/ 
And if it take the second must refuse/ 
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark./ 
When all that story's finished, what's the news?/ 
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:/ 
That old perplexity an empty purse,/ 
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

Levi-Montalcini: “Yeats gives you two options. Either you choose perfection in your work, with as a reward recognition but at night remorse. Or you lead a calm and serene life, without success and at the end an empty purse. I’ve always refused to make that choice, with as a result deficiency in my work ánd in my life.” 

In 2009, after studying and working in fashion for 20 years, the meaning of Yeats’ poem became evident to me once again. Being absorbed by working in the industry, I guess I suddenly realized I didn’t want to end up having remorse at night for all the things I’d always wanted to do but never allowed myself time for. Painting was one of those things. 

That first year away from my designer life in overdrive, I started a series of works on paper, initially as research for later paintings, using fashion magazines I had amassed over the years. In the Black Series – Past Present (Past Presence) I erased fashion references from magazine pages. An attempt to re-view my past and to find new access to known sources, to create new images from the old.

- Michiel Keuper, visual composer 

Dapper Dan #14 - Opinions and Inspirations Section, spread Glenn Martens (left), Michiel Keuper (right)

Dapper Dan #14 - Michiel Keuper
contribution Opinions and Inspirations Section

Dapper Dan #14, 2016/2017, cover