Lucia Kempkes lives and works in Berlin. She was born 1988 in Xanten (Germany) and studied at first Philosophy and Biology at the Freie Universität Berlin, and continued with Fine Arts Studies at Universität der Künste Berlin and School of Visual Arts New York City. Since then, her work has been shown in Solo and Group exhibitions worldwide. She was in Residency at the NANJI Residency of Seoul Museum of Art and Pioneer Works in New York City and got awarded with Scholarships such as a stipend by the Dorothea Konwiarz Stiftung Berlin or the Richard Thomas Foundation London.
I’ve always been curious about the intentions behind Art history’s iconic landscapes. The mountainous vista is one of the most depicted symbols in classical painting, a celebration of the natural world, but often just a backdrop which we project ourselves into, to depict us in a certain position. This was the entry point for my research into today’s cultural, political and emotional associations of landscape in contemporary visual culture.
Our movements through physical and digital landscapes are another interesting touchpoint for how we experience nature today enhanced and alternated through digital gestures: In my latest works, I research the translation of movements like to zoom, tap, swipe, screenshot, copy-paste, erase or duplicate as a possibility for landscape drawing.
Next to the traditional materials of Graphite and Paper in any given form, my work includes home textiles such as carpets and extreme sports equipment like Paragliders: As we meander today between online and offline spheres, utopia and reality, we have always sought the safety of a home and the adventure far away from safety.
Carpets are used to mark the emotional landscape home. Like curtains and blankets, they are objects to make us feel safe, rest and relax. I developed different techniques to merge traditional carpet knotting, tufting and drawing, as well as with outdoor materials such as Gore-Tex.
The purpose of extreme sports equipment is to push our bodies to the places in which they could not normally go. Mountaineering gear protects us from the cold, from using up oxygen and from losing grip on steep climbs. Action sports tools are designed to simultaneously take us to the precipice of death while keeping us safe. Adrenaline is the goal, but also to remain unharmed. For that reason, high-tech textiles and machines protect us from what we seek: The great outdoors – the challenge.
Following these thoughts, I develop large scale installations and works merging these influences into pieces, that question the role of landscape today, as it is found to be the desktop background of all our devices and still the oldest human challenge to conquer.