Attention: Due to Lockdown Light, Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien is currently closed. Nevertheless, we would like to inform you about this exhibition, its important background and the accompanying programme.
The exhibition Sirene – Goldrausch 2020, in cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, shows the works of the current Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt scholarship holders from 7 November 2020 to 10 January 2021. The professionalisation programme celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
30 years of Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt: The renowned feminist project from Berlin presents its annual exhibition; with works by 15 international women artists – resident in Berlin and with roots on almost every continent. The show at Kunstraum Kreuzberg combines video films, installations, paintings, sound objects, performances and sculptures.
The many-voiced works negotiate personal and socio-political issues as well as history and utopia, myths and magic, individuality and groups. They document animate things and feelings, the effects of the Anthropocene on climate, geography and humans, life in digital surveillance – and ask how all this manifests itself in the environment and bodies.
The title “Siren” recalls the device that emits an audible warning tone and generates attention to important information that is equally relevant to all. The Gold Rush Siren calls for: Polyphony and the overcoming of exclusion mechanisms in the art field.
The Status Quo
The Goldrausch Female Artists Project is a professionalisation programme. The one-year course programme provides background knowledge, comprehensive professional expertise and opens up networks. The goal of Goldrausch is still equality, but this is far from being achieved. The German Cultural Council criticised this year that the gender pay gap in the visual arts profession was 28 per cent in 2019, unchanged since the last survey in 2016. The higher the income, the higher the pay gap – for female artists, lower market presence also means fewer sales at lower prices.
The phenomenon of unequal pay begins early in an artist’s career: a graduate study by the Hamburg University of Fine Arts shows that female artists are very active, participate in and win more competitions than their male colleagues, and also negotiate a fee and budget more often. The amount of an exhibition fee, however, is on average twice as high for men as for women, at 1,000 €.
How it all began
Women were admitted to study at art colleges in Germany from 1919. A first step. 70 years later, in 1989, the Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt started a pioneering course in West Berlin with twelve women. With the title Ohne Kompromiss – Strategien professioneller Selbstbehauptung (Without Compromise – Strategies of Professional Self-Assertion), the project founders Anne Marie Freybourg and Ute Birk reacted to the obvious gap between the artistic visibility of women and that of men. The eponymous Goldrausch Women’s Network, the programme’s supporting association, has been campaigning for professional equality and economic independence for women since 1982.
The central themes of the project’s everyday life proved to be the principle of helping women to help themselves; the collegial advice in a reliable peer group that provides valuable feedback to the female artists.
In 30 Gold Rush years, 447 women artists have participated in the programme, the youngest born after the project began in 1989, some participants experienced an alumna as a professor or artistic role model. “Ex-Goldies”, as they call themselves, are present everywhere in the art field and are well connected through shared experience. Since the programme began 30 years ago, women artists have become much more present in the art world in 2020.
Project director Hannah Kruse sums up: “Many things have changed for the better. What remains to be done is to finally overcome deep-seated structural inequality – with the tools of the professionalisation project, but also with political measures that enable equality.” The Goldrausch women therefore demand: support for the reconciliation of artistic work and family, anonymised award procedures for grants and prizes, the quotation of acquisition budgets and project budgets and the addition of works by women artists to collections.
Kruse is optimistic “that in 30 years the work will be done, the Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt will have made itself redundant and we will see the whole picture.”
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt will take a look at the work of former participants as well as at the history and present of the project from October to December 2020. For this purpose, a selection of texts and images will be published regularly on the Goldrausch website. In addition, on the weekend of 5 and 6 December, works by former project participants on the theme of collaboration, cohesion, self-organisation will be shown in a screening: All Goldrausch alumnae were invited to participate via an open call; the final video, performance and sound works will be selected by a jury (Yalda Afsah, Kira Dell, Olaf Stüber) and shown in Studio 1 (Kunstquartier Bethanien) parallel to the exhibition of the current course. For the two days, the screening will be made available simultaneously on the project website.
The artists 2020
Yasmin Bassir, Chan Sook Choi, Solweig de Barry, Manja Ebert, Caterina Gobbi, Rosanna Graf, Mona Hermann, Emily Hunt, Sidsel Ladegaard, Gosia Lehmann, Julia Lübbecke, Silvia Noronha, Kristina Paustian, Eva Pedroza, Juliane Tübke.
Curators: Surya Gied, Hannah Kruse.
WHERE? Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Please check the institution’s website for any necessary adjustments to opening hours in connection with Lockdown Light.
Current information on the accompanying programme: