Karin Hochstatter

Lines Fiction: Your artistic practice includes drawing, sculpture, animation, and installation. Let’s focus on your animations: they have no narrative structure, no story is being told, rather they seem to be energetic state descriptions. Is there a connection to your drawings?

Karin Hochstatter: My film works and animations are directly inspired by drawing. I often use analog drawings as source material. However, it is important to me that the drawing remains in the background in this context and is no longer recognizable as such for the viewer. In many cases, my digital work is based on material from everyday life and the mundane.

The film animations resemble musical sequences or rhythms. I compose, build, and draw with overlays of material, light, and sounds. Digital and analog experimentation are equally important to me. Immersion in the temporal dimension, not narration. The work does not seek representational themes, but rather a relationship to the concrete appearance of the environment. Therefore, its field of investigation remains singularly vague, the place between form and dissolution.

While in drawing the dark line forms a contrast to the bright background of the paper, in film it is the reverse as a ‘light line’ that inscribes itself into the dark field, releasing its own space as light or reflection through the interplay of positive/negative in the animations.

Lines Fiction: A documentary film about your art was titled ‘The Unsteady Gaze.’ I think that is a good and accurate description of the complex impression that your artistic practice creates.

Karin Hochstatter: The title ‘The Unsteady Gaze’ for the documentary film by Ulla Kellerwessel comes from a text written by Thomas Wallraff about my drawings, in which he accurately describes how they oscillate between form and dissolution. Nothing is fixed, but can simultaneously flip into its opposite. The concept of sketch or sketchiness characterizes my artistic approach quite well: from the sketch, I transfer drawing to other artistic media (sculpture, installation, photography) and try to elicit a visual form of the fleeting. Form does not lead to clarity for me, but on the contrary, chaos allows me to create form in my works. They remain processual and fluctuating, almost without stability. I need these changes in direction to precede the linguistic formulation with an intense visual effect. It is often a delicate matter, as I like to work with chance and can fail.

Lines Fiction: Do you also exhibit your drawings together with animations in installations?

Karin Hochstatter: In the narrower sense of the term, I have rarely incorporated drawings (works on paper) directly into an installation. But a large part of my filmic animations is based on drawings. They are conceived in relation to space, projected, and directly incorporated into the sculptural elements. Overlaps are created by the movement of the viewer, leading to an active denotation of the space. Each of my installations is related to the respective space and never repeatable in the same way. I am currently working on a room installation titled “EA,” which will consist of a multi-channel projection. Animations based on drawings and short video sequences of historical and modern interiors are broken down into their linear structures. They form the starting point for pictorial accumulations and resolutions of the interior and exterior. The three-dimensional sculptural space is layered and simultaneously fragmented from two-dimensional images.