HALLE 14 / Spinnerei Leipzig, Germany

HALLE 14 / Spinnerei Leipzig, Germany

for national and international contemporary artists

The effects of large studios and new
surroundings on the process of creation

The Place
HALLE 14, Centre for Contemporary Art at Baumwollspinnerei Leipzig, is an independent non-profit organisation, existing since 2002. The hangar number 14 of the old cotton mill got its second chance with participating in a EU programme and putting together ten partners to realise this entrepreneurial transformation: a cultural conversion of an industrial site.

Bit by bit the five-storey hall with a total surface of 20.000 sqm was reconstructed. It now unifies exhibition, education, event and residency. Central aspect is being a place for presenting contemporary arts, but also strongly featuring pedagogic programmes like ‘Kreative Spinner’, maintaining an art library, publishing their newspaper ‘vierzehn’, and running events and panels like ‘Lounge14′ or the ‘must have’ talk and discussion series.
Since the beginning of 2012 their scholarship and residency programme is running, called ‘Studio14′.
But also previously there have been AIR programmes like in 2005/2006.
It provides studios as working space for artists sent by a foundation or institution granting them.
Accommodation is not integrated at the spot and needs to be at another location.

The grant holders surely will find artistic and intellectual stimulation. As they can profit from the infrastructure of the art centre, like using the library collection based on private donation, including rarities and scarce catalogues, the substantial help from the HALLE 14 team.
In addition, ten other galleries, numerous studios, further creative centers, an art supply store and other residencies schemes beleaguer them only on the Spinnerei areal.
Within the neighbourhood of the district Plagwitz, there is the performance space & theatre Schaubühne Lindenfels or interesting initiatives in terms of urban impact like project Wagenburg and Gieszer 16.

Hangar no. 14 is also hosting other artists, either renting a studio themselves or being a fellow with the AIR space ‘Pilotenküche’ or the artists’ run ‘a room that…’ who have shifting guest artists every three months.
Overall, at the same floor there are 10 other studios, making lively contacts and interchange vivid practice.

By Sunday noon of 14th September 2014, still artefacts of the performance last evening of the Ortonandons, three sisters from Dundee, Ireland, and former resident artists of HALLE 14, can be found on the library floor.
Also other artworks from Anna Orton, stipend of Hospitalfield Arts, are shown at the exhibition next door.

Undeniably, innovation and creativity are promoted by modified situations and surroundings.
Some artists, who have agreed on this displacement, spontaneously adapt to the local conditions different from their home base. Others actively utilise the influences in transforming their working methods and find new forms of expression.
So did the current stipend of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation at HALLE 14, Isabel Cordeiro, Portuguese, but living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
As generally known, space is confined and precious there.
Informed about having single use of a 144 sqm atelier in advance, plus that there will be an Open Studio/ the Spinnerei-Rundgang shortly after her arrival, Isabel prepared on how to proceed from painting to the three-dimensional reminiscent of the architectonic. She erected a series of structures, using aluminum and wood, and investigated on the impressions of volume.
To her it seems so privileged to hold an atelier of a size where in Amsterdam three apartments would be built.

The foreign context becomes the reference point and to some extent to the object of research of the own work. Claudia Kleiner, German painter and the so-called ‘Heimspiel-fellow’ of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony for two months at ‘Studio14′, explains the following on her approach:
“I deal with the different ways of depiction a picture-idea. It moved me a romantic idea, the idea of simultaneity between the familiar and the strange,” as stated in her booklet.

Claudia Kleiner next to her oil on canvas painting ‘Schwebungen’, 140 x 150 cm, 2014.

Fortunately, the Artistic Director Michael Arzt is rather familiar than strange, firm in the processes and contexts of cultural policy, and yet so human.

More info on the HALLE 14 website and on Facebook.

Photos: A.M.; Interview with:
Michael Arzt, Artistic Director and Programme Curator of HALLE 14,
Leipzig, 14th September 2014.