Berlin Biennale: von mir aus
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Every two years in summer, crowds flock to the Mitte district of Berlin: the Berlin Biennale for contemporary art opens its doors. How does the format of the Biennale work – and what possibilities does it offer us? Where and in what way do different social groups have a place? What does curating mean, what does mediating mean? Who feels attracted to contemporary art – and why?
In the project Berlin Biennale: I don’t care, the focus is on young people who curate their own exhibition. In artistic processes moderated by artists, a Berlin-wide youth biennial is to be designed in a participatory manner. It is primarily about artistic freedom, curating and the children and young people involved’s own expression. In the joint project work, it turned out that some groups could be better supported in their mobility and access through the existing structures than others. For us, this raised questions about cultural canons and inequalities in the education system. Who is in the center, who is on the periphery? Whose interpretation prevails? What about artistic networks in the different districts of Berlin? And so in the art project Berlin Biennale: I inevitably ask everyone involved to deal with social phenomena – such as divisions and parallel living environments as well as unfair distribution of access and resources. “Wandering formats” were created, which, thanks to their mobility, can fundamentally make it possible to pass on and translate content and experiences – not only on these questions – in different constellations of the districts.
In the first stage of the art project, the Biennale format was artistically examined by more than 120 children and young people from all over Berlin (Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Lichtenberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Pankow, Treptow-Köpenick) within the framework of six thematically related laboratories. Artists from the network of The Hub e. V. and team members of the Berlin Biennale moderated the processes of the respective laboratories.
In Laboratory 1, the first of the six laboratories that structured the Berlin Biennale project in terms of content, we focused on the 10th Berlin Biennale as a system. The focus was on the Biennale as a socio-economic mechanism and on fields of work in its context. Interviews were conducted here and many interactive tours and workshops took place in the exhibition rooms. In laboratory 2, we were at the center as the subjects involved. Therefore, we researched aesthetic practices in relation to living environments using biographical approaches, as shown, for example, by the project Fanzines – Song of Remembrance, but also the Cultural Tours of Lichtenberg. In Labor 3, the focus was on the company’s own artistic production, and a wide variety of work formats were created, from power objects (Pankow district) to a neighborhood shop (Neukölln district) to interactive games (in the exhibition Don’t be an ego player!). In Labor 4, a team of young people curated the exhibition Don’t be an ego player! in the project space – Kunstquartier Bethanien. In this context, young people from Neukölln and Kreuzberg carried out numerous interactive tours with visitors from different generations.
In laboratory 5, the experiences were evaluated together, in order to then develop the concept for a youth biennial 2020 in laboratory 6 with a participatory, inter-district working group of young people.
The art project Berlin Biennale: in six Berlin districts, initiated and conceived by Mona Jas for The Hub e. V. in cooperation with the Johann-Gottfried-Herder-Gymnasium and the Berlin Biennale for contemporary art, is funded by the Berlin project fund for cultural education and supported by the state program cultural agents for creative schools in Berlin.
Artistic direction Magdalena Beger (project development, moderation), Mona Jas (overall project), Alexia Manzano (cooperation, networks), Maja-Lena Pastor (project development, coordination)
Artistic workshop leaders Alexandre Bailly, Magdalena Beger, Carsten Cremer, Marlon Denzel van Rooyen, Anna Ehrenstein, Lydia Hamann, Sara Haq, Ünal Iğde, Maria Janus, Anton Kats, Alexandra Kersten, Seraphina Lenz, Ulrike Majewski, Alexia Manzano, Heiko Tandeka Ncube, Gregor Pfeffer, Julia Schramm, Katja Ullmann, Johanna Unzueta, Sarah Wenzinger, and Daria Zorkina.
Artistic direction AG Young Art from 6 Districts Asli Ceren, Emma Floßmann, Lucia Kolodziej, Amanda Lechner, Kora Preißler, Imaya Ugwonno, Asya Yilmaz
Artistic advice and moderation Daniela Bystron and Sarah Wenzinger (dialogue tours), Seraphina Lenz (curation], Marisa Maza (production, curation, construction)
Photography Victoria Tomaschko
Schools, day-care centers and youth facilities:
Art and cultural institutions:
Higher Education Institutions:
Beyond the Berlin Biennale: http://bb10.berlinbiennale.de/de/vermittlung
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