Andrea Loefke normally works alone. A German-born installation artist currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, she is best known for her elaborately constructed other-worldly environments.

The installations she creates take days, sometimes weeks, to construct and are populated with layers and layers of handmade objects that she has knit, glued, constructed, selected, painted and sewed herself.

Andrea was invited to build one of these alternate universes here at A&D last year, but with a catch. She was to inhabit it with... clowns.

It was A&D professor Rebekah Modrak's idea. She had been following Andrea's work over the years and was intrigued by the detail and complexity of the worlds she was creating, as if waiting to be inhabited and made alive. So she invited Andrea to come to the school to collaborate with students. Students in her costume class, Dressing Up & Down would make the costumes for drama students in Malcolm Tulip's clown class in physical theatre.

Andrea agreed to come but was adamant: no silly, funny clowns.

Loefke sent over sketches of her conceptual ideas for the set and the costumes. Rebekah's class took measurements of the clowns and made costumes based on the sketches.

Loefke's original costume sketches with the costumes created by Dressing Up & Down students. Click to view full size.

Andrea spent a full week in Slusser Lounge building "the environment". Then, on one afternoon, all parties got together for the videotaping with creative arts producer Kath Weider-Roos and Tom Bray. Malcolm Tulip directed the "clowns" as they improvised their own role in a mysterious three-tiered green world.

Faculty and students working on the day of the taping. Click to view full size.

The instructions from Andrea were this: Three layers of worlds/experiences exist horizontally, above each other and in different shades of green. Each tier has different capacities to communicate, control, suppress, discover and connect and in encountering each other, battles of hierarchy, turmoil and surrender occur.

From the footage, a 'documentary' of sorts was created, called "Ausflug ins Grüne" (Outing to Greenwood).

"Ausflug ins Grüne", Andrea Loefke, 2009

For more of Andrea's work, visit: