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Caroline Achaintre

Portraiture / Animism
30 July–11 August 2018

Todo Custo, work of Caroline Achaintre, 2015
Todo Custo, 2015, hand-tufted wool, 300 × 210 cm, courtesy of Arcade, London
photo: Andy Keate

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Sculpture and installation, mixed media

English, German, French

What to bring
You may bring your own preferred material and tools. Participants will work with paper, print, all kinds of soft materials, clay


Maximum number of participants

Sonja Bendel

Participation fee
€ 700,– (€ 540,–)

This course explores the ideas of anthropomorphy, animism and process-based working. The main focus is on the artistic production, and there will be also some theoretical input. We will explore our urge to recognize ourselves in others and our connection to objects through empathy. Further, we will look at the perception of the
self and projection of the other.

The idea in animism, the shift from an object to becoming a subject, gives it a life, animates it. The class will deal with this shift between the inanimate and the animate, and everything in between. How objects become personas and personas are defined through objects. We will be looking at ourselves through objects, sculpting without seeing, and creating portraits through everyday objects. We will be working from our imagination and from and with objects.

Over the two-week course, the participants will use different media and techniques to explore portraiture and the field between abstraction and figuration, as well as the shift from object to subject. Participants will be working with collage, direct print, paper sculpture, clay and soft materials.
As now it seems that we have found an answer for everything, we are seeing the inexplicable, the magic, the other(-worldly) to make sense of the everyday. The aim of the course is to bring objects to life, to become the creator of creatures, just as in Frankenstein’s Lab.
Caroline Achaintre, born in Toulouse (FR) in 1969 and brought up in Fürth (DE), lives and works in London. She works across a diverse range of media that includes textiles, ceramics, prints and watercolours, using techniques typically associated with the applied arts. Her work is colourful and potent, evoking the subversive spirit of carnival and creating an atmosphere that is simultaneously playful and absurd. Citing German Expressionism, post-war British sculpture and Primitivism as influences, her work also makes reference to more contemporary sub-cultural strands of sci-fi, the Goth-metal scene, psychedelia and horror films.

Permanente, MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporain, Montpellier (FR). Dauerwelle, Belvedere 21, Vienna. 2018 Fantômas, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (UK) and BE-PART, Waregem (BE). Duo Infernal, Art : Concept, Paris. Dissolver, Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund (DE). Wimper, Touchstones Rochdale, Rochdale (UK). 2017 Escanér, Museo de Arte Precolombino Casa del Alabado, Quito. Caroline Achaintre, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (FR). Caroline Achaintre, A.D.O. Farbvision, Berlin.

Group exhibitions (recent)
2018 Pissing in the River. Again!, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin. Childhood. Another Banana Day for the Dream-Fish, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. BALTIC Triennial, curated by Vincent Honor., Vilnius; Tallinn; Riga. A Forest, Arcade Gallery, London. Nomadic Murals: Contemporary Tapestries and Carpets, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Miami, FL (US). 2017 En Crue, Fondation Albert Gleizes, Moly-Sabata (FR). Morphogenesis, Galeria Francisco Fino, Lisbon. Ungestalt, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (CH).

Stella Rollig, Charlotte Cosson, Emmanuelle Luciani, Oriane Durand: Permanent Wave / Dauerwelle, exh. cat., Belvedere 21, Vienna, Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Vienna 2019.
Emma Dean, Ann Dressen, Zoë Gray: Caroline Achaintre, exh. cat., BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and FRAC – Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain Champagne-Ardenne, Reims 2016.
Caroline Achaintre, portrait
Portrait photo: Claire Dorn