The Germany based artist collective ZONENKINDER.goldstein establishes a link between environmental art and urban art. They are creating unique urban art works resembling nature’s mystical beauty. ZONENKINDER.goldstein work and live in Hamburg, Germany.
Both of you are based in hip-hop and graffiti-culture. What kinds of other styles and influences have inspired your work?
A lot comes to mind: special places, music, colours and atmospheres, nature spectacles, bizarre forms and patterns, travelling, people… concerning the art scene, there is also the “Figuration Libre” movement, Miyazaki Hayao and (pop) surrealism as well as the cooperation of artist couples like Niki de Saint Phalle & Jean Tinguely. Additionally, simply our passion for graffiti culture / urban art. We are happy about detailed murals made by our buddies Interezni Kazki (Ukraine), about tags or weird characters on stickers, bright colours applied to trains or on the streets, works by OZ (R.I.P). We especially like the contrast between dirty throw-ups and street pieces, posters, 3D objects…whenever two different pieces are coming together to communicate and to form a contrast. In this manner the city becomes a giant artwork, a public gallery – accessible for everyone.
I would definitely classify your works as “urban art”. Concerning street art, usually urban spaces are the works’ context. However, you are specifically concerned with nature and natural matters. How come you developed such a strong connection and preference for nature?
I would say finding your own subject, style and position is important for every artist. This is a continuing process: experimenting, questioning, then suddenly being confident and relaxed, then eventually being bored and sometimes even realizing your own failure, overcoming boarders, continuing, extending, and sticking with it! Nature inspired us. Even though we are children of the city we do feel the need for solitude from time to time, without any blabla, blubbubb or blingbling. Out of the crowd, tightness, the rush, the so often too bright and intrusive distraction through the media, advertisement and constant news, ringing of your mobile phone. Being free off all of that, alone with yourself, can be very inspiring. In nature we experience different smells, noises, colours, forms, different beings and lighting conditions.
Your space for interventions is nature as well as city. Which surrounding proves more inspiring to you?
Both! We enjoy being in motion. Turing away from urban rush and turmoil calms us. Leaving that behind inspires us to talk, think and reflect to develop new ideas together. At the same time, we love our urban life as well, obviously. However, the somehow unimaginative modern architecture, those infinite shopping areas or blockbuster events, let so many different cities all appear similar and boring. Above all, it is the creative expression and activism, which predominantly develops itself in big cities and shows itself in urban spaces, that encourages recognisability – that specific flair, beyond grey conformity. Why do we all love “die Schanze” and “St. Pauli” or Berlin-Kreuzberg? We are talking about that peculiar charm of everything so diverse and varied – the mixture of different lifestyles and expressions. The role played by graffiti culture and urban art is not to be underestimated.
How do you choose your places and objects you are going to work with?
On one hand it’s a game with a space in a space. We find objects and places spontaneously; between chaos and organized determination we are keeping our eyes open for interesting and promising details. There is always something that caches our eyes, to which we are drawn too almost magically.
Where did your motif of your new edition develop?
We created the work specifically for this edition. It emerged in an enchanted forest in Hamburg… where exactly cannot be told. You only find it per chance. Its title KODOMA is Japanese 木 (ko) meaning “tree” and 霊 (dama) meaning “spirit”. In total Kodomo gives name to ghosts living in the forest, ghostlike inhabitants of the forest. They only appear, when the forest is healthy. They are kind of projections of nature’s spirit. Furthermore it also means “echo”. Accordingly, they also resemble nature’s echo.
Your limited edition is deliberately published on “the day of the forest” and printed on sustainable, eco-friendly paper (Hahnemühle-Papier). Which role does protecting nature play for you?
Obviously super important one – how it should be for all of us. After all, us humans are an integral part of nature and deeply intertwined with her. Nature is priceless and indispensable. There’s no plan B! We can’t behave like “there’s your second planet, fuck it, we are exploiting the first one and just dump it.” We depend on nature, a careful treatment is essential in our eyes. Nature does not necessarily need us (perhaps she even would be better off without us) Nature is infinite. We are not.
Video Portrait The Tree Project (2014)
EXHIBITIONS & FESTIVALS
2014 Europatag, Lemberg (Ukraine)
2014 Hekaya” – The Tree Project, Dockville Festival, Hamburg
2014 Dandy Birds Installation, Vogelball, Hamburg
2014 The Tree Project continues – collaboration work together with Patrice Hubert, Fusion Festival, Lärz
2014 Zonenkinder: Werkschau, Das Bürro, Hamburg
2013 „VINCENT CUNILLERE Duos d‘ateliers“, Musée Paul Valéry, Sète
2013 Troublesome Houses – Art Exhibition, Lousville Kentucky (USA)
2013 Gogolfest, Kiew (Ukraine)
2013 FREQS of NATURE festival, Berlin
2013 Festival n.a.t.u.r., Bochu
2012 ARTAQ Award, Paris
2012 “The Tree project goes on” – France, Germany, Denmark
2012 Festival n.a.t.u.r., Bochum
2012 CityBilder – Kunst auf Brandwänden, Dresden
2012 IBUg Betriebssystem LeHH, Leipzig
2011 Permaculture, Neurotitan Berlin
2011 Brachenfestival, Hamburg
2011 Monstercombo, Das Viadukt, Vienna
2010 “Muralissimo Kiev“ (Ukraine)
2010 “Schöne Bescherung”, Superplan, Berlin
2010 „Komm ins Museum“, Altonaer Museum, Hamburg
2010 „PSST“, Gängeviertel, Hamburg
2010 “SNNC- style needs no color”, Düsseldorf, München, Berlin
2009 “Bambule”, McCaig Welles-Gallery, New York City, USA
2009 “Urban Affairs Extended”, Berlin
2009 “Fokus-Festival”, German-Polish Festival, Görlitz
2009 “Komm in die Gänge”, Gängeviertel, Hamburg
2009 “Nix Krise”, Superplan, Berlin
2008 “logogol”, Pixie-Gallery, Kaohsiung Design Festival, Taiwan
2008 “Fete Nationale”: in cooperation with Institut français Mainz
2008 “Megafon Auction”, Bergen, Norway
2008 “Streetvision“, Graphic Design Festvial Breda, Netherlands
2007 “Graffiti Stories – L`Art Modeste sous les Bombes”, Musée International des Arts Modestes, Séte and Abbaye d`Auberive, France
2007 Too Sweet & Seldom Seen,
2007 Kismet Gallery, New York City
2007 “10 ans M. Chat” & friends , Institut français Mainz
2007 “Six Fingers vs. Vicious Gallery”, Hamburg
2003-06“Characterbildend”, Galerie Miss Hecker, Berlin (Solo)
2003-06 “verKÖRPERUNGEN”, Rathaus Mainz
2003-06 „StreetmeetsArt“, Mainz