Artist Verena Kyselka at Stal Gallery in Muscat, Oman

  • StalGallery in Maskat, Oman © Verena Kyselka
  • Verena Kyselkas Ankunft in Maskat © Verena Kyselka

German artist Verena Kyselka spends with a scholarship of the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region one month as the artist in residence at Stal Gallery in Oman´s capitol Muscat. 

As the guest of Stal Gallery and with a stipend of Goethe-Institut Gulf Region,  artist Verena Kyselka spends March 2016 at Stal Gallery in Muscat.

For the second time the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and Stal Gallery Muscat with Omani Artist and gallery director Hassan Meer, cooperate to foster the contemporary visual arts in Muscat and to enhance the cultural ties between Oman and Germany.

Stal Gallery provides the invited artist Verena Kyselka with the opportunity of working in Muscat on an artistic project and realizing workshops for Omani artists and the Omani community.

Artistic exchange

Verena Kyselka´s  artistic research focusses on traditional tales and songs of Oman, working closely together with Omani artists. As a result she records the Omani songs, all sang by Omanis, she visualizes the recordings and creates collages, drawings and a video film with animation with local findings such as photos, fabrics, designs, ornaments and other objects.

Arriving in Muscat

On her first day Verena gathered with Hassan Meer and the artists of Stal Gallery in a traditional Arabic coffee seating inside the gallery, surrounded by contemporary paintings. Verena and the artists had a brisk exchange about their work and understanding of contemporary art discussing their views on performance art, sound art and film making from the 60’s to date.
 
The cultural and artistic exchange between Verena and the Omani artists lead to a workshop which takes place several times during the residency. For the workshop the artists chose different traditional Omani songs. Every artist sings the lyrics of the song while Verena records the vocal voice. They discuss together the appropriate technique of a manual animation that best visualizes and illustrates the selected song. The animation techniques vary from cut outs from collected material and drawings, photos, fabrics, ornaments or designs which are moved image by image in a prepared animation box to sketches and shadow animations. In the end of the workshop the artists and Verena will edit the animation in the recording speed of the chanted songs and present them in the gallery.

Intensive exchange with Omani community

The research for Verena’s own work and for the workshop led to a journey together with the artist Muzna Al Musafer to a Baluchistan family (Balutschistan once belonged to Oman) where a grandmother sang the traditional songs of their culture and the region. This unique journey was for Verena a chance to experience different cultures within Oman and to get closer in contact with the Omani community. 

Together the artist Rawan Al Mahrouqi Verena visited twice female kickboxing events. Verena commented ‘In Germany I would never get the idea to attend Kickboxing, but here it is absolutely  fascinating to see women take off their Abayas and start kickboxing.” 
 
With sound artist Raiya Al Rawahi Verena is sharing some work space in Stal Gallery. This allows both of them to experience an intensive artistic exchange which reflects also in the workshop in which Raiya is a participant.

Biography

Verena Kyselka lives and works in Berlin. Her artistic work developed in the underground scene of East Germany in the late 80’s. Together with the female artist group Exterra XX she founded the Kunsthaus Erfurt in 1990, where she curated and worked on intercultural projects. From 1997 to 2003 she studied art and video-design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Since then, she has been working space-related with video, installation and performance. Her numerous international projects were developed during intercultural exchanges in Eastern Europe as well as China, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Australia.