NICOLAS KERKSIECK
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Nicolas Kerksieck (*1977) studied sculpture with Tony Cragg at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin (UDK) and has been working in Zürich and Basel since 2008. For the past two years, he has also been leading a research project on Rapid Prototyping in the sculptural process at the College of Art and Design in Lucerne. He also holds a teaching position at the School of Art HGK Basel. Kerksieck works in several different areas, such as in the public space as action, interferences and interventions. He also explores the “traditional process of building sculptures”.  That is, he questions the sculptural process and its inherent fallacies. Thematically, he explores topics of identity and existence.

The terms “participation” and “performativity” are often uttered in describing Kerkiecks artistic concerns. His investigative processes often lead the performer/investigator/artist – and consequently, the viewer, into absurdity and excesses of self-questioning. He encourages the viewer to physically seek confrontation with his work while establishing an emblematic and multifaceted investigation into the nature of art. Kerksieck became recognized in particular through his performances/interventions “Warmwasserprozession” (“Hotwater Processions”) and “Begleiterscheinungen” (“Side Effects”) and “Mutter Erde als Behälter” (“Mother Earth as Container”). His sculptural and installational pieces are the result of utopian and (retro) futuristic architecture and film sets; a peculiar double life between model and real spatial interior pieces. Aesthetically speaking, his work is characterized by a growing form of linguistically complex cubic interlockings and nestings within their surrounding spaces. These three-dimensional objects are not without narrative qualities which are up to the viewer to expose and explore.

Kerksieck’s work been shown in numerous exhibitions and projects in Switzerland, Germany and abroad. He has received multiple awards and grants, including the Academic Award of the Körber Foundation, the scholarship of the Fundaziun Nairs, and project support of Pro Helvetia. Kerksieck has been working with balzer art projects since Fall 2012 on different projects.  Among many different projects for 2014, Kerksieck has his first duo-show at balzer art projects. The exhibition is entitled “Architectural Utopias” and ran from March 20 through May 10. Kerksieck and gallery-artist Andreas Bauer focus upon the dichotomy of reality and fiction in architecture and space as phenomena of power.  Individual and collective memories are stressed within a critical analysis of traditional values, contemporary urbanism and lifestyles.