About us

Since 2018 POCHEN tells history and stories about the past, the present and the future. Each two years the POCHEN Biennale is dedicated to topics that have a lasting impact on the people of the region and Germany. In order to take the success of the 2018 debut to the next level and to further sharpen the festival's profile, we hosted an international symposium last year together with representatives of our European partner festivals, network partners and high performers from the arts, science, technology and society. Lectures, workshops, explorations and public exhibitions and performances got people in the mood for the upcoming POCHEN Biennale 2020.

And these are the people behind the POCHEN Biennale:

Benjamin Gruner - 01

With Benjamin everything falls into place. As project manager of the POCHEN Biennale, he keeps together all those involved in the project using their ideas to give a proper shape to the festival.

Since 2013, many other projects had his signature next to art and cultural events: an example is the ibug festival for urban art, since 2019 also the OSTRALE art biennial in Dresden, and this year even an exhibition as part of the European Cultural Year 2020 in Rijeka (Croatia). But he is also very active on a regional level, and involved in several local cultural events: the organisation of the Fête de la Musique, and the event series Salam Chemnitz - A History of Friendship.

Constanze Gröer - 01

Constanze at POCHEN keeps an eye on the numbers: she skilfully juggles them from debits to credits, so that the balance sheet looks alway accurate. 

She is also the Feel-Good-Manager in the Spinnerei e.V. Here she takes care of everyone and everything: all balance sheets, members and guests. In addition to the bookkeeping, she runs yoga classes, gives massages, handles incoming requests and makes appointments.

Frank Schönfeld - 01

Frank is simply the one that every project needs. A practical person, a sharp and accurate thinker, and mostly a man of action who doesn't waste time with words. This is the reason why he is in charge of the entire production at the POCHEN Biennale.

Other organisations also appreciate his practical attitude: the Chemnitzer Entwicklungsgesellschaft (CWE) for instance, where since 2017 he has been helping the Chemnitz cultural and creative industries to prosper. In this context, he is also responsible for the conception of the Chemnitz Creative Development Programme (Krach). As Chairman of the Spinnerei e.V., he is also responsible for numerous other events: the Treibsand festival, for example, or cultural events such as the a wie apéritif at the State Archaeological Museum in Chemnitz (smac).

You can see that Saxony is getting trendy when Swabian people start moving here, for example Hannes. Growing up in Stetten am kalten Markt in Baden-Württemberg, he is working as a freelance graphic designer and book editor for the art book publisher Spector Books in Leipzig. After studying media design at Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW) and University of Reading (UOR), he then moved to Saxony.
Apart from that, he is a passionate skateboarder. Straight outta skatepark, Hannes is responsible for the visual design of POCHEN. Catalogues, flyers, everything visual carries his unique signature.

Lucia came to the POCHEN Biennale as a mail artist: in other words, she sends all different kinds of objects around the world and checks if the postal service delivers them.

In addition, she works as a project coordinator at the Chemnitzer Wirtschaftsförderung (CWE). Her showpiece so far: the city’s 875th anniversary. And she is also well networked beyond the city limits, whether at festivals in Switzerland or in Chemnitz’ twin city Düsseldorf as long art is in the focus.

Maria is our networker: she loves art, culture and everything related to it. She takes care of our social media channels: At POCHEN she is responsible for liking and being liked, for sharing and being shared, for talking and being discussed in all social networks. 

Since 2015 Maria, born in Transnistria (or on Russian Pridnestrovie), has her second home in Germany. After finishing her linguistics studies, Maria went to Leipzig to work as a volunteer with children. Just one year later, Maria followed her creative and analytical impulses and began a dual training in marketing communication  in Chemnitz. Currently she works at KOMSA AG in the area of e-mail and content marketing.

Natalie Bleyl - 01

Natalie grew up in a village near Aue in the Ore Mountains and came to Chemnitz in order to photograph the local urban vibes. As a photographer she is part of our social media team.
After graduating in European studies at TU Chemnitz, she started her master’s programme in British and American studies. Apart from that, she is a successful analogue photographer: This year, she received the recognition award of the JugendKunstTriennale of the Kunstsammlungen Zwickau. Her works have hung in the Club Zukunft and the Kunstsammlungen Zwickau, among other places. Now, they hang at our place – on Instagram and Facebook, where she regularly provides you with photos.

Philipp Nürnberger - 01

Philipp does magic at the POCHEN Biennale: from his fingertips directly to the laptop screen. He is responsible indeed for the entire text production at the POCHEN Biennale.

He has been already doing this for years:  first as a student of German studies, then as an editor in a publishing house, and today as a copywriter in a marketing agency in Chemnitz. And if the magic is not happening with his fingertips he definitely suceeds with his legs: at the Chemnitzer Druckbude e.V. he works as a skateboard trainer.

Rene Szymanski - 01

Rene is the one in our team who has an eye for everything. At POCHEN he is responsible for the accompanying programme. In this role, he investigates how multimedia art can be understood by everyone, and how the content of our topics can be succesfully delivered to the public.

Since his studies of philosophy, he has been doing this regularly for the Kulturhaus Arthur in Chemnitz. There he is mainly entrusted with project development, artist booking and fundraising.