Siegen. 2020 - what a year, what an extraordinary situation! Sometimes you almost think you should say thank you for being able to experience it. Under the national and global burden of a pandemic, survival has so far been very regional and completely global.
Many artists have used the time to devote themselves entirely to artistic work. That was the case at the beginning of the year, when Kellner was still able to work on a major commission for a company in southern Westphalia. The collaborative production for the museum in Washington turned the fall upside down, and in the midst of the pandemic, other commissions were also added, such as a collage about the new Audi-Max in Siegen's center district. The end of 2020 was further marked by work on regional themes, some of which will already be on view at the Art Galerie in Siegen from mid-February on.
Exhibitions in the Corona year
2020 exhibitions were held in Offenbach, Mainz, Washington, Oregon, Pingyao, Kreuztal, Nümbrecht, Aachen, Siegen, Dortmund, Würzburg, Minden Giessen, Oldenburg, Dresden, Iserlohn, Lippstadt, Emmerich, Cologne and ShenZhen. Other exhibitions in Johannesburg, Chengdu, Havana and many others in Spain and France were cancelled. The most exciting exhibition was certainly on the one hand the presentation of the Grand Canyon in Kreuztal and on the other hand the cooperation with the Museum of the Americas in Washington D.C., for which a wonderful film was made, which can still be seen on Kellner’s YouTube channel.
Some years stand under a certain star. One of them for Thomas Kellner was certainly filming. A large number of films were made and hardware and software had to be upgraded.
Cooperation with the University of Siegen
For more than ten years, Thomas Kellner has been cooperating with universities in Cologne, Bonn, Münster, Marburg, Frankfurt and Siegen. Many courses of study now require pre-study internships or mandatory internships during studies. The artist's studio is of great interest to various courses of study, since many things such as the production of films, project management, communication, internationality, social media and much more are also used in the cultural enterprises and should be learned by students, or conversely students can bring newer knowledge into the everyday studio operations. In Siegen, for example, the cooperation with the courses in literature, culture, media, or media studies, formerly media planning, is very successful for both sides. In 2020, Kellner reports, his interns were on the move with a very special friendliness, enthusiasm and a high level of competence that inspired the studio on a daily basis.
With a finger on the map
Due to Corona, all trips were cancelled in 2020. Kellner was also rarely able to travel to exhibitions that took place nonetheless. The presentation of the Grand Canyon in the Kreuztaler Kulturbahnhof was all the more pleasing. At least at this point, the regional audience was able to make a worthwhile trip. The project was well received by the media and was reflected in a new publication by Kellner, The Big Picture.
It's not over yet
The Shutdown of Culture has hurt our society for many years to come. Kellner has published interviews on this several times, and has combined this with wishes and demands to politicians. What was still widely heard in 2020 and was also accompanied in Siegen with a Corona Benefit exhibition of regional artists, suddenly seems to be no longer an issue for 2021. And yet the cultural sector has already been at a standstill for 4 weeks and there is no compensation at all.
Spirit of optimism
In this special situation, it is important not to sit back and relax, but to come up with new offers. 2020 was time enough to clean up and to develop ideas for the future and so Thomas Kellner wishes for the opening of the exhibitions in galleries and museums, so that art can be seen and bought again.