Barbara Eichhorn is a German born visual artist living in Austria. At the moment she is artist in residence for three month in Istanbul supported by the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport Austria.
Every year, the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport sends around 50 artists to the thirteen foreign studios of the republic, for a period of three to six months. Since the 1970s, about 950 artists have been invited to work in these temporary studios, in order to discover and expand the artistic situation on site and their own work in a new environment.
In Vienna Barbara has her studio in the Sonnwendviertel district, a new neighborhood of the Austrian capital behind a newly built train station. This modern venue is a perfect playground for artistic expression, an opportunity Barbara seized with fellow artist Daniel Aschwenden for the Thishousebylines project in 2021. They were dealing with the “relationship between movement and drawing as contemporary, (analog) art media in digital times”.
This matter is really central to Barbara Eichhorn’s work : lines, lines, and lines, the movement of the pencil on the paper going from one point to another until something comes out of it. The artwork she is producing is creating matter, shapes and structures from a succession of pencil lines. It is as much from the tracing of lines as from the spaces that separate these lines that the forms appear.
Art residencies are always an occasion to see how an artist’s work is modified outside of his usual environment, an opportunity to explore other cultural contexts, and to establish intercultural communication.
Being away is something that really resonates with Barbara Eichhorn’s work, as going in different directions is part of her way of working. She is wandering around Istanbul to have a look at the shapes, the lines and the contours, focusing on the movement that is leading her arm as she is traducing into another language the visual image that the urban landscape is sending her.
The images are superimposed on each other, without hierarchy, creating a relational aesthetic that translates the urban landscape into forms and sensations.
We are walking with Barbara Eichhorn through the Kadiköy district of Istanbul and visitng art spaces like Apartment 52 and arthere while she is preparing her contribution for the Mahalla Festival in Istanbul. This years festival will take place between August 23 and September 14 mostly in the Kadiköy destrict of Istanbul under the title Windmill Mountain dedicated to the Murmuration birds. Murmurations are huge groups of starlings that twist, turn, swoop and swirl across the sky in beautiful shape-shifting clouds.
For the festival Barbara is preparing an interactive drawing performance with the title My Hand is Your Hand is My Hand.
Hands lie on top of hands and together they follow lines drawn on paper.
Take in, perceive, take with you, connect, pass on, and hand over.
For the Mahalla festival Barbara Eichhorn will do an interactive performance in Kadiköy, Istanbul. She will draw collectively with passer-by and friends who are around on small papers. The performance invites you to linger, to ask questions, to reflect and to participate. It invites residents, neighbors and passers-by as well as interested art audiences. That’s the way of Murmuration.