Sibyll Kalff

Sibyll Kalff

Location:
Koln, Germany
School:
Fachhochschule Cologne
Birthday:
04/01/1967
Artist Inspirations:
Out of the Suitcase Sibyll Kalff, international artist and musician. A portrait. In his absolutely pleasurable book Historia abreviada de la literatura portáti (A brief history of the portable literature) Enrique Vila Matas describes a lodge of avantgarde artists in the 1920s, whose members, extreme and eccentric characters all of them, agreed about one essential criteria of valuable art - it has to be portable, which means, to be transferred easily from one place to another, thus suiting its creators' lives of roving in permanence. The book is so inspiring, because the bizarre stories around characters like Man Ray, Dali, Marcel Duchamps and other illustrious names seem to come easily, and the results of the entwined pathways of their art production in the last phase of the modern contemporary art, deliver a lot of material for punch-lines. Real life in Germany 2005 is much more frugal in delivering punch-lines. The artist and musician Sibyll Kalff lives and works with some musical instruments, some suitcases, the black number 10 box (all full of works, sketchbooks, diaries and documentary material) and a futon. One phone call from e.g. New York or Lhasa and she'd be gone forever in 2 hours with all her belongings. In the meantime, Sibyll Kalff lives and works on her arts, music and various projects in Cologne/Germany. The Rheinland can make you pretty sick after a while. Although open to all visitors from all over the world, the general approach of the Rheinländer to the world is not necessarily always cosmopolitan. The artist, being born in Bonn and raised in Bad Godesberg, soon discovers her love for everything beyond the smalltown where she grew up - foreign cultures, countries and alternative ways of living. Travels become an integral part of her live, she visits North Africa, many European countries, North America and Nepal. Being in other parts of the world, feeling ever so often more home than in Germany, sharpens her focus on the essentials of life and the transitoriness of moments. Meetings with others and situations are inimitable and non-repeatable. The state of complete openness for the space and time of the momentary being, meeting humans and friends, is her constant conscious condition. Back then, Sibyll tells her stories about "the world out there" and all impressions show well in her artistic oeuvre (apart from countless artworks/recordings that originated from her travels). She organizes a plentitude of both personal and group-shows and concerts to transmit information, cultural knowledge, happenings or just generally radiate freedom. The radical approach of many of those events, particularly the early 90s group shows, is hardly imaginable in the art scene today. The experiences from all her life and travels are transformed into improvised music with various projects and bands. A long-standing companion and partner in crime is Donald Lessau. Using tapes and tape recorders (talking Aiwa Mono, baby!) as their medium of choice, they start to publish and self-distribute their music under the name The Horse Cock Kids in the late 80s, . Soon, the tapes are passed on around the world and develop a life of their own . One day the phone rings and John Zorn asks, whether he can publish some of the Horse Cock Kids catalogue on his New York based Tzadik label. Donald Lessau and Sibyll Kalff travel to N.Y City in 1998 to enjoy the presentation of their just published split artist CD and miss their guest appearance in the sold out Knitting Factory. They ate pizza instead. From then on, Sibyll Kalff flies back and forth across the ocean (sometimes joined by Donald Lessau) and keeps on living and working in New York. She desperately loves life and work on the Lower East Side of Manhatten and all over town, while always being forced to leave due to having no residency. Projects with N.Y. artists and musicians like Missippi Goddamn leave audible evidence, that someone really arrived at home. The cyberspeedy powers of comprehension and spontaneity, that already were typical for the Horse Cock Kids, appear grounded in the music, even more within listeners' grasp than previous recordings and incredibly FUNKY! The town leaves a deep impact, made visable in Sibyll's artistic work - thousands of drawings originate, endless variations in watercolours, portraits of New York, house facades, watertanks, interieurs, collages of all life impressions, a glimpse at the ever changing moment in the river of time and space. Along with the painted works Sibyll Kalff takes a huge number of pictures. Her photos hardly ever show any tourist attractions, but the normal street life, unspectacular at first glance, but absolutely full of love for every little facet of "her" town. She experiences 9/11 in the years of 2001 at the bank of the East River in Brooklyn and on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It leaves a deep mark, life ain't the same ever again. After having to leave New York again, she returns to Cologne and just keeps on trucking - working on her art, music and projects. One of her most beautiful recent works is the passport series, using her and her family's old expired passports as poetic sketchbooks, filled with drawings, photos, collages and prints. Official stamps become transformed into colours, faces and forms. Newspaper clippings, drawings and writings relive the official data and give them a life of their own - as well as showing and portraying all travels in a both poetic and documantary sense. The transformed passport becomes a symbol of travelling itself, (paradoxically standíng as well for a world without visa, borders, passports and all possible restrictictions deriving from that). Sibyll sings the blues and sings against and about all lonelyness and pain on the Tent Sessions, a collection of improvised songs, various poems set to music and music theoretical texts going along with them. Empathically accompanied by artist and guitarist Stefan Bohnenberger, her voice is a consolation about all loss and the conjuration of a better, a different world. She continues to work on her blues imprinted improvised music in various bands and projects, e.g. with Spunx Distorted, later with Studio B. 98% of her recorded work are first takes. The recordings of countless sessions and jams have been edited and published continuously, forming a most impressive back catalogue of 20 years of recorded music. Sibyll Kalff more and more becomes a global networker of necessity, due to her German exile. She connects friends all over the world and finds correlations, that none of the participating persons could have thought of. While working on one of her pet projects, the Crrrazy Record Store (being integral part of the new art and general store concept of art gallery owner Thor Zimmermann), she curates and assembles music, that can't be bought or found in that form and constellation anywhere else. All CDs, records, tapes, DVDs could tell a story on their own, how they found their way in there and all about their backgrounds (but a lot of information about each single item can be found in the online version of the store http://www.gemischtwaren.com). Sibyll Kalff builds an Exile From Mainstream (also the title of one of her latest CDs) for herself and others with her work. translated and edited by S. Kalff based on a text written by Kurt Kreikenbom, August 2005

Biography:
Sibyll Kalff, born in 1967, is one of the most versatile German artists (as well as musician and writer and multimedia) living today, as a female counterpart to Dieter Roth and Martin Kippenberger. Her work ranges from conceptual photography to sculpture to artist's books based on the themes of travel and improvisation. She temporarily lives in Cologne and sometimes works in New York City. She is represented currently by Iao PROJECTS gallery in Salt Lake City, UT.

Artist Portfolio


Little Books (complete set)
18.00" x 24.00"
$3000.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

Little Books (1 book of c...
6.00" x 4.00"
$150.00

my daddy's brain
2.00" x 1.50"
$200.00

1000 opunzien / 1000 pric...
11.70" x 8.30"
$150.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

cities
12.10" x 8.80"
$200.00

i wanna be your dog
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

night at the lake
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

deathdances
16.50" x 11.00"
$1500.00

for rent
12.00" x 9.00"
$200.00

gogoshoes
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

saltlake (mongolia)
11.70" x 8.30"
$150.00

colonel barkschafter
11.70" x 8.30"
$200.00

calling in nyc
10.00" x 8.00"
$175.00

love is possible
8.50" x 11.00"
$175.00

tasaga
11.70" x 8.30"
$275.00

Little paperships
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

Little paperships
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

Little paperships
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

Little paperships
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

Little paperships
8.00" x 10.00"
$150.00

der schatten des steines
3.00" x 5.00"
$175.00

cash
4.50" x 4.50"
$200.00

der schatten des steines
9.00" x 6.00"
$200.00

sketch book from india
3.00" x 9.00"
$200.00

little indian book
6.30" x 4.70"
$200.00

sketchbook 1998
6.10" x 5.70"
$250.00