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Cottbus (CB)


Uferstraße/Am Amtsteich 15
03046 Cottbus Deutschland
Tel: +49 355 4949 4040

dienstags bis sonntags
11 bis 19 Uhr

Sonder­öffnungs­­zeiten an Feier­tagen

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Frankfurt (Oder) (FF)


Carl-Philipp-Emanuel-Bach-Straße 11
15230 Frankfurt (Oder) Deutschland
Tel: +49 335 4015629

dienstags bis sonntags
11 bis 17 Uhr

Sonder­öffnungs­­zeiten an Feier­tagen

Die Ausstellungsräume sind barrierefrei: Besuch bitte nur mit Begleitperson.

Frankfurt (Oder) (FF)


Marktplatz 1
15230 Frankfurt (Oder) Deutschland
Tel: +49 335 28396183

dienstags bis sonntags
11 bis 17 Uhr

Sonder­öffnungs­­zeiten an Feier­tagen

Die Ausstellungsräume sind barrierefrei über eine Rampe erreichbar: Besuch bitte nur mit Begleitperson.

From Cottbus via Lüneburg to Osaka

An art project by Matthias Körner




Sali Afsari, Abushariaah Ahmed, Anne-Mari Alitalo, Rebecca Archer, Kseniia Babkina, Stefan Baer, Frank Beyer-Behlow, Enrico Benassi, Illaria Benassi, Patrizia Bertini, Ya-Sin Chen, Yuchun Chen, Tomaž Ciglar, Carola Czempik, Pablo Delfini, Birgit Dworak, Anna Fomenko, Yuji Furukawa, Mahyar Ghalami, Noosha Golab, Valeria Gopar, Rita Grafe, Sue Humphreys, Virginie Hils, Alexander Janetzko, Tina Jensen, Sybille Junge, Mahsa Karimi, Kathrin Karras, Mohammadreza Arab Khazaeli, Mostafa Khosravi, Carola Kirsch, Thomas Kläber, Matthias Körner, Jeanlouis Kuntzel, Luiz Carlos Leit, Cheryl Levin, Jorge Linares, Nadine Lineham, Sepideh Majdi, Franco Marinai, Jürgen Matschie, Steffen Mertens, Frank Mesaric, Shirin Mirjamali, Zahra Mohamadi, John Mutsaers, Hellen Nabukenya, Faezeh Nekouyan, Masuhiro Oshima, Christa Panzner, Conrad Panzner, Peter Panzner, Erica Parsons, Viktoria Piemonte, Luigi Profeta, Susanne Ramolla, Anne Rau, Ray Rosdale, Razieh Saboory, Yoko Sakamoto, Eria Sane, Alejandra Saracho, Elke Schulz, Kathrin Schötz, Willi Selmer, Masae Shirakabe, Vicki Sullivan, Parisa Taghipour, Anke Vrijs, Hans-Georg Wagner, Andreas Walter, Mathias Wunderlich, Vivi Zagoura, Azin Zolfaghari, Shookooh Zoroufchi


In 2022, the Cottbus based artist Matthias Körner initiated a campaign that grew out of the need for interpersonal and artistic exchange. Via the social media platform Instagram, he invited artists worldwide to design conventional paper coasters and exchange them with his own coasters, processed using the drypoint technique, via analog mail. The response was impressive: a total of 75 artists from 19 countries took part in the campaign. The resulting works are now being presented for the first time in this exhibition.


Apart from the requirement to use the paper coaster, the participants enjoyed complete freedom of design. The way they deal with the small format varies considerably: while some artists use the 9.3 x 9.3 cm area to its full extent or reduce it again with an additional frame, others add additional coasters or create space-consuming objects. The variety of themes and artistic forms of expression could hardly be more extensive: some critically examine the social and political circumstances in their creative environments, while others focus on motifs from their personal everyday world. Many artists, in turn, test the possibilities of shapes, colors and materials to create compositions that go beyond representationalism.


Matthias Körner’s approach of distributing art across geographical and political borders and foregoing the cycles of the classic art market is reminiscent of the principles of mail art of the 1960s. But the artist goes a step further by using an alternative exchange method: art for art, without monetary compensation.


9 questions for Matthias Körner


1. What prompted you to do this?

There was no particular reason. The whole thing developed without me doing much about it. It was just that the initial conditions were favorable: we had Corona, the usual lines of communication were largely cut off. And there was a growing need for kindness, given the unspeakable way people treated each other during the pandemic and the terrible outbreak of war in our neighborhood. To experience relief in a microcosm characterized by respect and humanity, so to speak. And now, with the exhibition coming to fruition, many of the reactions of the artists involved indicate similar sensitivities.


2. What prompted you to choose simple coasters, which are also used as beer mats, for example, as the medium for this project?

First there were the coasters, then came the project. A friend asked me to artistically rework one or two of these coasters for her. That was difficult for me because the things were so small, until I came up with the idea of using gravure printing. That worked wonderfully and a small series was created very quickly. A colleague saw the first 10 or 20 and asked if we wanted to swap. That was the whole idea. First I swapped with her, then soon with a few other colleagues who were friends, and then at some point I ended up on Instagram. For me, the social media skeptic, that was a discovery. Suddenly I saw works by artists from all over the world that I would never have seen without this medium. That’s how I found potential participants.


3. How did you choose the artists for your campaign? How did you become aware of the artists?

Instagram is like a huge exhibition. You wander around in it and sometimes you stop and take a closer look. That’s how it was here too. When I was hooked on something, I wrote a message, presented the project and simply asked.


4. What was the response from the artists who took part in the campaign? Was there any particular feedback that surprised you?

Most colleagues responded, sometimes quickly, sometimes after a few days. There were many acceptances and of course a few rejections. The acceptances mostly came with a similar reason to this: „Oh, how nice, of course I’ll take part“ or „What a wonderful project across borders, especially now, I’m happy to be involved“. Rejections were mostly due to a lack of time. Or once – a colleague from South Korea -: „Thank you for being interested in my work, but I’m happy.“ I liked that a lot. But some of them didn’t respond to my request at all.


5. How does the process work?

I now have 3 Instagram pages: one with my work, a second with my etchings on the beer mats, a third with the exchanged ones. So I ask the artist in question whether she wants to take part in this campaign. I send her the Instagram links and ask her to choose one or two of the works from my drypoint page. I then send them to her by letter and include some unprocessed coasters. She then processes them and sends them back to me. That’s all.


6. Can you tell us something about the variety of artistic designs on the coasters? Was there a work that particularly stood out or was surprising?

The results are as varied as they can be. There are oil paintings next to acrylic works, inks next to watercolors or etchings, there are collages and sculptures. There are even small Raku ceramics. One work from Iran particularly fascinated me: an artificial braid, as if cut off, that literally grows out of the coaster.


7. How did you experience working with international artists? Were there any challenges or special experiences during this process?

The friendliness in dealing with each other was and is very special. Some contacts have also deepened over time, so that there is an artistic exchange. Sometimes there are also recommendations to invite other artists to this project. A completely different aspect comes into play here, namely that there are suddenly people involved that I would never have thought of myself, so the whole story becomes more universal and is no longer exclusively influenced by my own preferences.


8. What significance does social media have for you personally in communicating art projects and staying in touch with artists?

The only virtual social medium I use is Instagram, and that is almost exclusively for this campaign and to see and possibly enjoy other artistic positions. I think it is a good way for artists to communicate with others, to get to know other perspectives, to exchange ideas.


9. Are there plans to continue the campaign in the future or to initiate similar projects? If so, can you tell us something about it?

I don’t think this campaign will end with this exhibition. But it is always a question of time. How much time do I want to spend on it? I can imagine the project being really big. But as we all know, you can imagine a lot…