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Alexandra Bircken

Artist Factory

was born in Cologne in 1967.

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Video

Exhibition Video „Alexandra Bircken: A–Z“

Alexandra Bircken makes sculptures from a wide variety of materials: from leather suits to motorbikes to found twigs and branches, all kinds of matter serve her as raw material. This means that she creates very different-looking sculptures. But the human body is almost always at the center.

When she was young, Alexandra Bircken was an avid reader of the popular English magazines “i-D” and “The Face,” which cover fashion, music and youth culture. Expressing individuality and self-determination through fashion plays a very special role in these magazines.

Ponder this

Do the original meanings and functions of materials remain when they appear in new contexts? 

Alexandra Bircken thinks a lot about the skin as a shell. For example, she is interested in how skins separate us from other things in the world, or how the surfaces of materials surrounding us can look, how vulnerable they are, or how they provide protection.

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Artwork Factory

Alexandra Bircken, New Model Army, 2016

Four headless mannequins are lined up in a row, one behind the other. Artist Alexandra Bircken has sewn parts of used motorcycle clothing directly onto the plastic bodies with fill

Sometimes she also focuses her gaze deliberately on the inside of bodies and objects. For example, she cuts open motorbikes or other machines with great precision, so that suddenly not only the exterior but also the interior of the object is visible.

"I OFTEN COMBINE ELEMENTS THAT REALLY DON’T BELONG TOGETHER, PARTLY TO BREAK DOWN THE EXISTING ORDER OR HIERARCHY AND TELL A NEW STORY."

Alexandra Bircken

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Die Skulptur der Bildhauerin Alexandra Bircken besteht aus einem Motorrad ist in der Mitte in zwei Teile zersägt.

Alexandra herself moved to London at the age of 23. There she won a coveted place to study fashion at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After graduating she started her own fashion label with her boyfriend and lived in in Paris and London for several years.

After almost a decade as a designer, Alexandra Bircken decided to leave the fashion world. In  2003 she rented her small studio “Alex” in Cologne. But soon she started creating her first sculptures—Alexandra now regarded herself as an artist.

Opinion

Welche Rolle spielt Mode für dich? Welche soziale Funktion hat sie? Hat sich das durch die sozialen Medien verändert? Wo bleibt das Individuum hinter Trends und Mainstream-Mode?

Get creative

Creative project Factory

Design a shelter

Build a shelter that surrounds your body like a “third skin”!

DISCUSS

What makes someone an artist? Determination or talent? Will or genius?

Ponder this

Places, cultures, but also scenes can strongly influence people’s biographies. What creative influences are you exposed to? Who or what influences you? What are you striving for?

Ponder this

Like stripped skins, countless pieces of clothing end up on mountains of garbage. What price does our planet pay for the fashion industry’s ever-new trends? Does it always have to be something new?

In machines and architecture Alexandra Bircken observes similar structures as in a body, e.g. a “skeleton” or “organs.” With her installations, she sometimes consciously intervenes in the existing architecture and creates works specifically for a particular space or place.

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