Krzysztof Honowski

What’s your background?

I was born in the North West of London and grew up in the polish diaspora there. I then studied English Literature, through which I came to be interested in experimental theatre and literature. Almost as soon as I began to make my own bits of theatre or poetry I realised that the only context available for it in the 21st century was in the art world, so after a few years of collaborating with friends in Berlin I went to study at the Slade. By that point, however, I’d put down some roots in Germany and was soon back here working in theatre and opera and studying at the KHM in Cologne. A particular interest of mine is the intersection of psychedelia and postmemory, which is what I am researching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna at present.

What influences you artistically?

I try to read and look at things as widely as possible – whether watching movies, seeing exhibitions, or just out of my window – and wait for something to stick with me. Even when it’s not possible to take things in, let’s say I’m too busy or stressed out (as was the case in the last two years) then I am always listening. Music and the social interactions around it, whether what happens when you go to a club or the rich history of graphic design associated with musical production and its ephemera, are a constant source of energy and inspiration for me.

How do you start a new work?

I collaborate extensively with other artists, so I am often on the lookout for a point of interaction or exchange, where I can privilege the voice of others as much as my own. My upcoming documentary works have begun as conversations with friends that have turned into interviews and then films and collages. I try to maintain an archive of images that I have either taken or found and begin by arranging them so as to work out what’s missing. I try to acknowledge unconscious impulses by collaging material impulsively, either as objects in the studio or layers of video material. I then start to cut into these agglomerations, filing them down in a lapidary process, like you would form a precious stone.

What are you working on right now?

Me and Ziemowit Nowak have just completed a film about polish glam rock and its impossibility which we are sending to festivals. Next year I will begin a documentary project about the late French musician Ghédalia Tazartès and present a new performance installation at the Kunstverein Leverkusen together with Laura Sundermann.