Headlands Center for the Arts

Elisabeth Kohnke

california | visual
Affiliate Program 2017—2018

Artist Statement

My work is often about the shortcomings of human perception and the way in which we take for granted or forget the constructed environments around us. The often invisible connection between first-world energy consumption, modern constructs, and raw resources inspires me to make work about the human psyche and its layers of dissonant viewpoints.  By utilizing subtle humor and perceptual disorientation, I create encounters that challenge the way we see or approach familiar realities. I am drawn to architecture and manmade forms as their intrinsic design and intention clearly conveys humankind’s identity and inherent (yet sometimes fallible) logic.  Nature also plays a key role in my work, for human infrastructure cannot flourish without a complicated network of natural resources. Since my practice is largely conceptual, my mediums vary: I work in video, photography and sculpture; constructing objects and installations from varied natural and man-made materials/objects.

While At Headlands

I’d like to get to know the surrounding ecosystems which have adapted to various historical structures; once built for military use. Human-centric functionality and productivity tends to rule over natural form and wild disarray, yet here, time and intervention have melded them together. My aim is to continue my artistic focus on the ‘invisible’ connections between natural and human-made infrastructures.  Stories of human-triggered environmental disasters has been replayed for decades in the sciences and the arts and here lies my personal challenge: To make work that inspires a greater understanding and awareness of our daily connections to our surroundings without the reliance of disastrous remains.

The Perfect II, 2015, digital video, 4 minutes

Selected Works

Personal Website

http://www.elisabethkohnke.com