“Stay at home, we’ll bring the art to you.” 48 STUNDEN NEUKÖLLN, Berlin’s largest free art festival, will take place this year from June 19 to 21, 2020, primarily digitally. Under the title Boom #systemrelevant, it’s all about the big bang and what contribution art and culture can make to better understand and master the current extraordinary situation. Festival visitors can participate on the computer and on the street: Exhibition visits and artist talks are transferred into digital spaces, billboards and shop windows become exhibition spaces. The press conference per will also take place on 11 June 2020 at 11 a.m. via video conference.
Image above: Bianca Kennedy: VR all in this together, 2019, 48 STUNDEN NEUKÖLLN 2019, Foto: Jens Ferchland
In times of distance, the festival wants to intensify the relationship between the artists in Neukölln and the audience, while at the same time exploring alternatives to physical meetings in closed spaces. An attempt will be made to translate the festival feeling, which is characterized by unexpected encounters, into the virtual: a new live website will also make random discoveries possible in this edition. What awaits visitors behind the next virtual door? A total of 200 artistic projects invite visitors to intensive visits.
Of course, the programme can still be planned individually: this year, the festival website serves as a digital programme booklet that links directly to virtual studio visits, concert streams or the discourse format in the form of video conferences. The participating artists will also have the opportunity to experiment with the digital presentation of their art in virtual exhibition spaces – including a replica of the Neukölln municipal gallery in the Saalbau.
The centrally curated exhibition Collapse in the Umspannwerk, with works by 20 artists, functions as a broadcasting studio for very different forms of digital art education, including filmed tours and guided tours as well as interviews with participating artists and live speakers. In addition, remote guided tours, in which viewers control art educators equipped with cameras, enable individual exploration of the exhibition.
Guests in the Kesselhaus of the KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art will be four curated positions in which sound, material and movement are the main focus and which can also be visited digitally.
This year, the decentralised display of public space will play a particularly important role: With the support of Wall AG, 75 advertising spaces in the so-called Poster Gallery will be filled with 75 artistic works created by artists* in digital print format. In addition, there are about 50 shop windows in the festival area, which make it possible to view artworks from the street. Five SIGNALS – large-format artworks with a signal effect – draw attention to the festival in central public places.
In the current exceptional situation, the ongoing commitment of the festival partners is particularly noteworthy. This has not only made it possible to realize the ambitious new mediation formats mentioned above, but also to guarantee a basic supply of the popular programs, which have so far placed particular emphasis on personal encounters and interaction: Thanks to the support of the Neukölln District Office, Youth Department and the STADT UND LAND Wohnbauten-Gesellschaft mbH, the festival for children and young people JUNGE KUNST NK can now take place digitally – with virtual offerings from the district’s youth facilities and a streamed youth short film programme. This year, the popular music ship will remain in dry dock – instead of on the water of the Neukölln shipping canal, concerts will take place as live broadcasts from the roof terrace of the Neukölln Opera House. The digital discourse program is supported by boesner Berlin.
In order to give these and other musical projects a special visibility, the festival is cooperating with the Festival Fête de la Musique for the first time this year.