Jasmina Tacheva Talks with Author and Event Manager Henrik Lüchtenborg
Jasmina Tacheva: Hi Henrik, how are you? Besides a writer and an event manager you are also the founder of the exchange platform Künstlerkontakthof - can you tell us a bit more about it? How did you decide to start it?
Henrik Lüchtenborg: Hello, Jasmina.
First of all thanks for your efforts to help me introduce Künstlerkontakthof to the public. The fact that the Künstlerkontakthof project is now in full swing, makes me feel splendid.
I live beautifully, in the country side near Berlin and have a lot of time and above all peace, to take care of this exciting new project. By the way I am just finishing the final draft of my new children's book "Nursery Attacks" and am organizing tours around Europe for two Berlin musicians.
Oscar and the Lady in Pink
How I came up with the idea to start this new initiative ...
After many small initiatives for artists, including the organization of 123 openings, 101 concerts, etc., I got the idea to create a platform by artists for artists.
It is easy to be out on a limb and make promises to artists but it's much harder to bring them to fruition honestly and successfully, for the artist themselves and not just for one's own sake.
Künstlerkontakthof should be no artist agency or a commercial venue. Here, according to my idea, artists should meet, exchange ideas and facilitate their way to successful work.
There is no so-called "healthy competition". Competition always entails a certain amount of bigotry. If artists leave their eyes and ears, as well as their creative hearts, open, it will be so much easier to successfully mediate their art and work.
Thus, for example, a painter from Berlin could meet with a painter from Paris, and arrange studio exchanges (this could be described as "studio surfing" - derived from the so-called couch surfing) in order to expand their vistas and work and to present their art in various places in Europe.
JT: Are there a lot of collaborators and enthusiasts who work on the project with you and would you like to introduce them to our readers?
HL: Well, the Facebook page has been up for 2 months now and we have almost 2000 friends. There are new requests each day, which makes me very happy. The principle has been grasped. Everyone here is a MAKER. If everyone puts a stone, the house will be built quickly.
I see myself only as someone who has brought and laid the first stone. Enthusiasts are the artists who started using our site to present their work or to ask me questions about studios or exhibition opportunities, etc., or even the many requests from musicians for concerts ...
JT: What can artists use the platform for?
HL: For themselves! This site belongs to no single person, every member is a component of the whole project; in the end everyone must decide for themselves how they are going to best use and support this platform.
JT: Is Künstlerkontakthof free?
HL: Of course! What am I supposed to take money for? Everyone does work here. In the end, however, everyone will be paid back; what I mean by that is that every individual should also receive benefits in exchange for their commitment, in whatever form, for their own projects.
JT: Who can join the project and how - are there any requirements or restrictions? Besides artists, can aer sellers, buyers and art gallery owners also become involved?
HL: All who want to seriously explore art are invited to participate. We all will get very little out of it, if the platform is used for private amusements only. Here, you want to work on a level that will help everyone move forward ..
Also politically active groups or individuals are probably out of place here ... it's all about art ... even if some political views probably do act quite "artistically".
JT: Is the platform planned for Berlin only, or can artists from around the world participate as well?
HL: Berlin would be too limited. Art should have no limits. I would be very happy if the platform would grow limitlessly.
JT: Besides the interactive form of communication, do you plan any "live" events?
HL: I'm thinking of an annual event. Once a year all artists should get together for a great evening, and get to know one another better with good music and wine.
But even this is not for me alone to figure out, I welcome any helping hands.
JT: The project has its own Facebook page - about how many artists are currently taking part in it?
HL: As of right now, we are nearly 2000 from all corners of the world (though mostly from Berlin), but more keep coming every day (:
JT: What is the message you want to convey through this unique artistic campaign?
HL: If we all take each other's hand, art will become a stable, high-quality profession in the world.
Art must be out in the world!
JT: The logo of Künstlerkontakthof immediately catches the eye - it's very creative and imaginative - what exactly does it mean?
HL: What we can see are small figures that are holding each other's hand and thus form a community. Only one figure on the left bottom side is a little out of the ordinary ... He is taking a bow. This figure represents the artist in general. They take a bow to their audience, once they are done with their work.
The figures behind him hold each other and thus form a strong framework in which they can work safely. If we hold on to each other firm enough, bowing is (the reward, the applause, the payment) will be a much more realistic and easier goal for many artists ...
The name "Künstlerkontakthof" itself is related to my personal experience with the choreographer Pina Bausch in Wuppertal... I think that the piece Kontakthof has certainly changed the way I participate in life and the community.
My personal meetings with her or other dancers from her ensemble were also always impressive!
JT: I personally think this portal is a way to get back to the roots of art and remind society that it has little to do with money and markets but a lot with human warmth and understanding. Is my intuition on the right track?
HL: Yeah, in general that's right. Money can't replace ideology, ideas, or creativity. Money does not make you free ... and certainly can't be the first building block for a work of art ......
Money does NOT make you RICH!
JT: What have the biggest challenges been so far?
HL: I think the logo took us some time; I designed quite a few models together with some friends... in the end we all agreed on the current one though.
I think the biggest challenge has yet to come... in the form of some 1000 small tasks regarding the coordination of almost 2000 dedicated creative minds from around the world. But we can definitely do it:)
JT: What are your wishes for the future of Künstlerkontakthof?
HL: I really hope that Künstlerkontakthof will become a contact zone that will make the artists' life not just easier but also more beautiful; that virtual friendships will grow into real relationships, and that our community will bring joy to everyone!
Thank you (: