Invited Artists

Francis Almendárez (b. 1987) was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, USA and is based between Southern California and Houston, TX. He received an MFA in Fine Art (with Distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BFA in Sculpture/New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design. He is currently Assistant Professor of Photography/Video and Studio Art in the Department of Art & Design at California State University, San Bernardino, and serves on the Board of the arts non-profit DiverseWorks in Houston, TX.

Almendárez is an artist, filmmaker, and educator employing history, autoethnography, and cultural production as tools to address memory and trauma, in an attempt to unpack and reconstruct identity, specifically of im/migrant, queer, working-class communities of Central America and the Diasporas. His work, ranging from filmic installations to performances and texts, incorporates music and storytelling, and brings to the foreground time, labor, and rhythm. Combining personal narratives with familial histories, Almendárez uses the biographical to collapse and superimpose past, present, and future, subtly interweaving underlying, overlapping, and recurring themes from (post)colonialism to migrant labor to the matriarchal family and gender roles. Working from the vantage point of both insider and outsider, he observes, he listens, and he collects. Then, he transforms the material from the personal to the political – and finally – to the poetic, in the effort to re-present and re-historicize alterity, and provide an alternative to the dominant Western narrative.

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Shabnam Chamani, born in Tehran, Iran, raised in Neuburg/Donau, lives and works in Vienna and Zurich. From 2011-2019 she studied contextual painting and drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Ashley Hans Scheirl and Veronika Dirnhofer. With her diploma thesis Es war als hätt' der Himmel die Erde still geküsst (“It was as if heaven had kissed the earth silently”) she was nominated for the Kunsthalle Wien 2020 Award. From 2017-2019 she also studied acting and performance at the Academy for Acting and Performance - diverCITYLAB. Since September 2021, Chamani has been studying at the Zurich University of the Arts in the Department of Acting under the direction of Peter Ender. She works freelance as an actress and speaker.

Chamani's artistic practice moves at the intersection of performing and visual arts. Her artistic thinking questions concepts and contexts of belonging and communication, sight-reading habits and class, archiving and publicity. In her works, she does not want to develop an artistic signature, so the approach is not tied to a particular medium. Rather, her art evolves from a process-oriented transdisciplinary context.

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Michael Dignam, (b. 1982) is a visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland. He works predominantly with the moving image, combining photography techniques with digital manipulations and the sonic. His practice is informed by his own upbringing in a suburb on the fringe of Dublin city,displaced from the inner city in a familiar cycle of ‘spent’ urban planning.

Having left school early to pursue an apprenticeship as an Industrial Screen Printer, he witnessed first-hand the death of an industry as advances in digital technology progressed. These formative years working on the factory floor and a subsequent series of dead-end jobs have shaped his current art practice, as he investigates forms of living, labour and class- structures within society. His informed approach to materiality has resulted in a particular aesthetic value that is inherent to his practice, as is his selection of pre-existing materials, which he arranges, remixes, and make interventions with in order to create meaning. The work that he produces instigates thought and adds new aspects to the perception of time and space, drawing links between the new and the old while playing with aspects of time, rhythm and repetition.

He completed an MFA at Goldsmiths University, London (2016), and a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2013).

Sanna Reitz (b. 1985, Kaiserslautern) lives and works in Karlsruhe. In 2016 she completed her studies in painting/graphics at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe as a master student of Leni Hoffmann. Her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. In 2023 she will be supported with a working scholarship from the Stiftung Kunstfonds.

"Mountains, valleys, meadows, forests -seemingly untouched natural spaces- the cliché of the idyll, these are the places and thoughts in which I seek to intervene. Landmarks that draw or undermine the boundary between nature and culture. The absurdity of human effort to nurture and care for, to map and market, to collect and order, to produce and control, to preserve and destroy all the diversity of life is demonstrated and ironized. The concept of home and the associated art product of untouched and unchanging nature, sublime nature and bland design, are confronted. The question of a nature aesthetic in times of the Anthropocene arises.

I construct sceneries that emphasize and potentiate the artificiality in nature that has been fabricated by humans. With manipulations of color and form, the manipulation of nature in favor of human dimensions of measurement, imagination and expectation is questioned from a new perspective."

Curating Artists

Sophie Innmann (b. 1986, Münchberg i. Ofr.) lives and works in different places, depending on the project happening at the moment. In 2014 she completed her studies in painting/graphics at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe as a master student of Leni Hoffmann.

Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (D, 2020), MoMA Moscow (RU, 2018), and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (D, 2015). In 2018, she designed artistic contributions for the European Capitals of Culture Plovdiv (BG, 2019) and Elefsina (GR, 2021). In 2019, she was a fellow at the Cemeti Institute for Art and Society in Yogyakarta at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut Indonesia.

While still studying at the branch of the AkdBK Karlsruhe in Freiburg, Innmann founded the offspace plan b with fellow students, which existed until 2012. From 2011 to 2016 she was a member of the curatorial team of the Kunstverein Letschebach in Karlsruhe and in 2013 initiated the ANTHROPOZÄNTA in Helmbrechts with about 60 international artists.

Innmann received several scholarships, for example the working scholarship of the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn (2020) and the Neustart Kultur scholarship of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the BBK. In 2016 she was a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (FR). In 2015 she received the Art Award of the District of Hof for the exhibition project ANTHROPOZÄNTA.

‌‌Daniel Vollmond (b. 1985, Würzburg) is based in Basel/Switzerland and works across Europe. In 2013 he received his BFA (Bachelor in Fine Art) at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Subsequently, he completed his MFA (Master of Fine Art) with distinction at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2016. For this he received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Daniel Vollmond's work explores social relations and everyday situations in an attempt to 'hack' and to debunk underlying rules and belief-systems [togetherness, identity politics, post-colonialism, a critique of capitalism]. His practice operates somewhere between direct interaction with the viewer, auto-biography, documentary and speculative fiction, both in private and in public space, which often results in scenarios in which the work appears in the process of 'making itself' through its interaction with the viewer: a negotiation that interferes with the structure of the world, and that in turn allows others to interact with its complexities and its contradictions.

Daniel Vollmond also works in collaborative projects. Notable individual collaborations have included work with Alicja Rogalska (SPECTRE, 2017) and several works and projects with his partner, Lynne Kouassi (i.e. HABITAT, 2019).