Alexej Koschkarow was born in Minsk (Belarus) in 1972 and studied at the art academy in Minsk and Düsseldorf. He currently lives and works in Berlin. In his artistic works, his interest is in the possibilities of suggestion, temptation, and illusion. His works combine historical material with motifs of the present and are intended to fascinate and confuse at the same time.

Kalter Ofen [Cold Oven], 2016

Ceramics, metal, electric light, motor, approx. 200 × 200 × 250 cm

Alexej Koschkarow’s installation Kalter Ofen [Cold Oven] is a freestanding tiled stove in the form of an exploding hand grenade made of tile, beams, bolt, and flame motifs with a fire suggested inside of it.

During the project phase, the artist spent time at the studio in St.Gallen several times in order to work on the artwork in cooperation with the staff of the Kunstgiesserei. The basis is a model of wood and plaster that was produced in cooperation with the artist (1/7 «Schnitz»), which was then reworked with plaster in the Kunstgiesserei, and once again processed. In a next step, plaster molds for all of the more than 100 individual parts were produced, the molded ceramic parts were then fired, and a white glaze firing performed. With the help of ceramic specialists, the Kunstgiesserei learned the technique and set up its own ceramic workshop. A steel structure on which the individual parts could be assembled was then calculated and built, and the individual tiles were finally grouted. In parallel, the stove door was cast in bronze and given a black patina on the inside, while the outer side of the stove door was given a coat of enamel paint. A can found by the artist, which the Kunstgiesserei equipped with a motor and lighting system, forms the «inner life» of the cold stove. The motor makes the can rotate around itself, and the rotation gives rise to the illusion of a «cold fire» with the aid of light. Glowing branches cast in bronze and given a black patina as well as a stovepipe that extends up to the ceiling supplement this illusion.

Kalter Ofen [Cold Oven]was exhibited at the Schaulager in Münchenstein within the framework of the exhibition «Zita—Щара, Chamber Piece by Katharina Fritsch and Alexej Koschkarow» from June to October 2016.