The New York based Swiss artist Katja Loher is internationally known for her video-sculptures and installations.
She refers to her work as Architecture of Dreams. “Someone who is creating every second, the most beautiful art, the art of dreaming”. The eye of the visitor discovers fascinating, kaleidoscopic patterns of dance formations staged and recorded from a bird’s eye view.
Katja Loher immerses the visitors with all senses into her works of art, a created world of flora and fauna that sensitises us to the beauty and values of nature. Philosophical and ecological questions are addressed in Loher’s joyful fusion of many medias: Glass sculptures and 3D printed sculptures, choreographed dance seen in different proportions and perspectives, elements of nature, people, technology, music, poetry, architecture, performance, gastronomy and fashion.
What strives you as an artist?
With my art work I create multi-sensorial spaces that stimulate dreams, awareness, imagination and humor and reveal new perspectives that inspire the viewer to find solutions from a different view point. Each project starts with a message that is orchestrated into a piece of art through multi-disciplinary collaborative action.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on PLANKTON MANIFESTO (www.planktonmanifesto.com), which was launched in June 2021 in Zurich and is going on a global tour. With this project I aim to raise awareness for the endangered underwater world – and most importably – put awareness into concrete action.
The multi-sensorial exhibitions represent my new series of works and are the stage for collaborative events and community actives. With my current works I’m making the beauty of Plankton visible to the human eyes. These drifting creatures sustain ocean ecosystems, serving as the basis of the marine food chain and are responsible for a crucial amount of the photosynthesis on planet earth, they indeed produce a similar amount of oxygen as all of the worldʼs forests combined.
For the purpose of giving the PLANKTON MANIFESTO a visible base, we are planning to install the P-Lab to create sculptures out of in community activities collected plastic waste which become the filaments for 3D printed objects. This artistic lab is located on the island Menorca, in the Balearics (Spain), a UN recognised Biospheric Reserve.
One year after completing your studies at the Haute école d’art et design in Geneva and at the Art Academy Basel, you were able to successfully exhibit at the first Moscow Biennale of contemporary art. This was followed by many other exhibitions in major art museums and galleries around the world. After 17 years in NY and the world, you returned to Switzerland more than a year ago, 11 month in an artist residency in the mountains.
How did you cope with this contrast?
Since 2019 I was living a nomadic period, traveling from project to project around the globe until I was stopped by the pandemic in spring 2020.
I’m grateful that I was able to return to my motherland and spend the lockdown in the Swiss Mountains. Relaying on my network of friends and collectors, I was able to continue manifesting. During the lockdown I realised a large-scale permanent museum exhibition, an art and architecture commission, and two exhibitions in Zurich. PLANKTON MANIFESTO was in partially interesting, as it was launched right after the lockdown. It was wonderful to hold this interdisciplinary events that generated social reactivation.
How has your artistic creation developed over the years?
I practice the art of life. If we listen art grows out of us.
The productions are orchestrated through an organic process of collaborative action.
After using the Bee and other pollinators as central creatures to communicate my messages, I started to dive underwater.
What made you combine objects and architecture with video?
This body of work allows me to create portals that open and transform spaces.
From the first movement I was holding a video camera in my hands I knew moving image is my media. From the very beginning on I was searching for new forms to free the video from the rectangular shape, a device or a black box.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From the trembling of a leave or the movement of the universe.
For whom are you creating your art and what would you like to move in spectators?
Have you noticed that the word EARTH hosts ART in the center?
We are instruments of awareness and agents of sustainable change.
I’m creating my work for as many different cultures and generations as possible.
A question that particularly moves you right now?
I wonder which bigger actions can be taken to find a more balanced and peaceful way of living together on earth and create a solid ground for all beings for generations to come.
What is good art for you?
I’m fascinated by art based on a vibrations that touch me immediately when I enter in a space. Art that communicates on multiple and also subconscious levels, without knowing or reading about it.
Where do you get your energy from to manage your team, complete so many commissions, exhibitions and new projects around the world?
Creating gives me a lot of joy and energy. My career has always been very fast, and there was always a next even bigger project. I came up with the life philosophy to be master of my time and I have as much as I need to create the architecture of dreams in biss. Also I practice a lot, every day is a celebration. It is my source of inspiration, it supports my mind and creative processes.
What is your mantra?
Let them drift, let’s drift!
That’s a nice way to end our interview. Thank you.
I wish you continued success with your art work. I am looking forward to see your new creations.
Text by Eliane Brenni