23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Kai Pfeiffer
© Denis Dahmer

Kai Pfeiffer

Kai Pfeiffer was born in Berlin in 1975. From 1996 to 2003 he studied at the Academy of Art in Berlin-Weißensee, including as a protégé of Nanne Meyer. In 1999, together with fellow students, he founded the artist group and the publishing house monogatari, which significantly influenced the genre of comic reportage in Germany.

In the early 2000s, together with Tim Dinter, Pfeiffer developed the comic strip series »Der Flaneur« for the »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung«. The protagonist, who strolls endlessly through the streets of Berlin, comments on his observations and his dialogues, sometimes philosophically, sometimes ironically, while always remaining true to a certain melancholy undertone. The series was published in book form in 2019 under the same title. In 2011 Pfeiffer began a collaboration with the Belgian artist Dominique Goblet. Over a three-year exchange, they developed the graphic novel »Plus si entente« (2014; tr: More if it Clicks). At the center of the action is a single young mother looking for a partner, who loses herself more and more in daydreams and the dating world of the internet. Her growing insecurity is reflected in the design aspect by surreal images – sometimes abstract, sometimes realistic – and in surprising chains of associations, which on the one hand are documentary and on the other hand branch out into monologues. As a source of ideas for this »love story in the age of the Internet«, Pfeiffer named online contact ads from France, which were primarily placed by men: »All the ads you read in the volume are indeed genuine texts. For there is no more fantastic, almost concrete poetry than these profile texts.« In 2015, in collaboration with the Austrian author Clemens J. Setz, he created the illustrations for Setz’s story collection »Glücklich wie Blei im Getreide« (tr: Happy as Lead in a Corn Field). Pfeiffer’s other publications include the documentary comic »Radioactive forever« about the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl, which was published in Japan in 2012.

Beginning in 2009, Pfeffer taught at the Kunsthochschule Kassel as a teacher for special tasks in the illustration & comics course. There he also headed the publication of the student comic magazine »Triebwerk« in the illustration class of the visual communication major. The foci of this magazine were comic reportage and documentary drawing. Today he is editor of the anthologies »Plaque« and »flitter« and has curated numerous comic exhibitions, including at the Kunsthaus Dortmund, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and the Comicon in Naples. Pfeiffer lives as a freelance artist in Berlin.


Opérations esthétiques

Le Dernier Cri

Marseille, 2000



Berlin, 2004

plus si entente

[Mit Dominique Goblet]

Frémok/Actes Sud

Brüssel und Arles, 2014