Uferhallen e.V. in Berlin-Wedding will open its fourth annual exhibition during Berlin Art Week 2022. The group exhibition On Equal Terms presents works by Uferhallen artists and guests. Twenty-six artistic positions negotiate the question of how art relates to the mechanisms behind the commodification of cultural and artistic values, both voluntary and forced.
A large majority of Berlin-based artists are trying to resist the economic displacement of spaces for artistic experimentation. However, their language is sometimes forced to conform to a similar logic, as workplaces and artistic networks are labeled as “creative hubs” and “cultural capital.” In the struggle against the gentrification of spaces for living and working, these same spaces necessarily become subject to the cultural economy’s valorization process. What is the price to pay for entering the political bidding war for space? What is the relationship between cultural and monetary capital? Are both sides of the conversation on equal terms?
The works selected by Sophia Gräfe and Arkadij Koscheew address these questions in conceptual and formal ways. A new work by Berlin-based media artist Aram Bartholl is on display in the forecourt of the exhibition hall. This Is Fine features an oversized flame emoji, often used in online social media as a symbol of great enthusiasm. When installed in the Uferhallen forecourt, however, the ambivalence of this symbol becomes clear: it also marks a fire pit, a potential danger zone. Inside, Benedikt Braun`s work Jackpot challenges the capitalist promise of endless productivity: hundreds of 1-cent coins clatter along two conveyor belts in a cycle that knows no surplus value. Meanwhile, Lou Cantor’s wall works consider the material aesthetics of impact barriers, which are deformed under strong forces during car crash tests. And Bianca Kennedy’s three-channel video installation features a montage of historical film scenes showing people in bathtubs: We are all in this together. Alongside the exhibition’s installations, sculptures, paintings, and light, video and photographic works, the accompanying performance program features works by Tommy Neuwirth, Manfred Peckl und Ann Schomburg.
Parallel to the exhibition On Equal Terms, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) is showing a documentary exhibition on the Uferhallen as a cultural venue, featuring a complete set of Kunstaktien (art shares). Produced in 2011 by more than 100 artists, these original artworks were sold as Uferhallen shares to protect it from speculation by ensuring stakeholder diversity. With its purchase of 24 Kunstaktien, n.b.k. was the largest minor stakeholder. Although the sale of the site could not be prevented in 2017, and a squeeze-out resulted in the buyback of the remaining free shares in 2022, the Kunstaktien played a decisive role in upholding the negotiations between the majority owners, the district, and the Senate to preserve Uferhallen as a location for cultural events and artist studios. The exhibition is curated by Anna Lena Seiser with curatorial assistance and research by Cilia Jonda and Hansjörg Schneider.
Group show On Equal Terms with works by:
Stefan Alber / Aram Bartholl / Antje Blumenstein / Benedikt Braun / Lou Cantor / Peter Dobroschke / Maria Eichhorn / FORT / Heiner Franzen / Wolfgang Ganter / Asta Gröting / Christian Henkel / IOCOSE / Šejla Kamerić / Bianca Kennedy / Peter Klare / Werner Liebmann / Tommy Neuwirth / Manfred Peckl / Alona Rodeh / Hansjörg Schneider / Bettina Scholz / Ann Schomburg / Mark Wallinger / Klaus Weber / Nicole Wermers
Sat & Sun: 12.00–18.00
Special opening hours — Berlin Art Week 14.–18.9.2022: 12.00 – 22.00h