Chambers of Phantom Kino Ballett
Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny

Thursday 29 August 2019
7 — 11 PM

30 August — 20 October 2019


Opening: Thursday, the 29th August 2019, 7 PM
Greetings: Dr. Werner Dohmen, Chairman NAK
Introduction: Maurice Funken, Director NAK

The Phantom Kino Ballett is sound fragment and black theatre, Holly Woodlawn’s nervous breakdowns, Taro’s animated arpeggios, Mario Montez’ Mobile, Maria Callas’ cipher and Anna Oppermann’s blink of an eye.” – Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny

Since 2015 Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny have been working on their audiovisual and processual drama Phantom Kino Ballett. With their exhibition Chambers of Phantom Kino Ballett, conceived for the NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Willikens & Szczesny continue the permanent transformation of their project.


Willikens & Szczesny will develop new room installations for the exhibition, which will serve as backdrops for performances and filming new video works. For these spaces, they will draw on works and props from previous performances and exhibitions and stage them anew through a creative process of deconstruction and recontextualization.

The dialogue-like character of the works of Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny is the result of their collage-like working method at the interface between visual art, performance, film and music. The two combine dance music with spoken word, self-produced and appropriated film sequences, interview extracts and pop cultural quotations.

Within the framework of Chambers of Phantom Kino Ballett, Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny will for the first time implement their installative approach outside of the institution to be played on. With a performance procession through the park adjacent to the NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, for which they make international artists – including Hedda Schattanik, Detlef Weinrich, Vicky Wehrmeister – subjects of the Phantom Kino Ballett, they deliberately dissolve the classical spatial boundaries of the Kunstverein and thus stimulate an active process of exchange with the surroundings.

Lena Willikens studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the class of Rita McBride. She works as a DJ and producer of electronic music and releases on labels such as Dekmantel, Cómeme and TAL.

Sarah Szczesny studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the class of Rosemarie Trockel.

Together, Lena Willikens & Sarah Szczesny have performed the Phantom Kino Ballett in international galleries, museums and clubs over the past three years and published the edition Phantom Kino Ballett on cassette and record on the New York-based label Commend / RVNG Intl. as well as realizing exhibitions at Galerie pcp (Paris) and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Düsseldorf).


On the 2nd of October, the performance Identikit Arkaden Seance took place at the NAK, using new video works developed by Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny within the site-specific exhibition situation. In the Identikit Arkaden Seance, these new video fragments are self-referentially combined with sound, pop-cultural quotations as well as performing elements and open a new chapter of Phantom Kino Ballet.

Kindly supported by

Pictures: Simon Vogel