The exhibition On Equal Terms in the Uferhallen deals, among other things, with the question of how art relates to mechanisms of partly voluntary, partly forced pricing of cultural and artistic values. On Equal Terms thus ties in with the programme of the Uferhallen’s annual exhibitions, which have been organised by invited curators since 2019.
Image above: On Equal Terms, courtesy of Uferhallen e.V.
Uferhallen e.V. in Berlin-Wedding is opening its fourth annual exhibition for Berlin Art Week 2022. The group exhibition On Equal Terms features selected works by Uferhallen artists as well as works by guests. The show with a total of 26 positions deals with the question of how art relates to mechanisms of partly voluntary, partly forced pricing of cultural and artistic values: While the vast majority of Berlin’s artists seek to defend themselves against the economic displacement of artistic freedom, their language and their actions must sometimes conform to a similar logic: Workplaces and artistic networks become “creative spaces” and “cultural capital”. In the rebellion against the sell-out of working and living spaces, these necessarily become the object of processes of accounting for a creative economy. What is the price of entry into the (location-)political bidding war? What is the relationship between cultural and monetary capital? Is this a dispute on equal terms?
The works selected by Sophia Gräfe and Arkadij Koscheew counter these questions partly on a conceptual, partly on a formal level. A new work by the Berlin media artist Aram Bartholl can be seen on the forecourt of the exhibition hall. This Is Fine shows an oversized flame emoji, which in online communication usually symbolises great enthusiasm among social media posts. On the forecourt of the Uferhallen, however, the ambivalence of this symbol becomes clear: fireplace and danger zone. Inside, Benedikt Braun’s work Jackpot encounters the capitalist promise of endless productivity: hundreds of 1-cent coins travel clattering on two conveyor belts in a circle that knows no added value. The wall works of the artist collective Lou Cantor, on the other hand, turn to the material aesthetics of impact barriers that are deformed under strong forces during crash tests in the automobile industry. Finally, Bianca Kennedy’s 3-channel video installation is a montage of historical film scenes featuring people in bathtubs: We are all in this together. The exhibition, which features installations, sculptures, paintings, light, video and photographic works, is complemented by a performance programme with appearances by Tommy Neuwirth, Manfred Peckl and Ann Schomburg.
Neben einer Gruppenausstellung mit ausgewählten Künstler*innen der Uferhallen und Gästen umfasst das Projekt ein Film-, Performance- und Vermittlungsprogramm (Termine siehe unten).
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
Curated by Arkadij Koscheew & Sophia Gräfe.
Uferhallen Art Shares. Documentation of a public company
Parallel to the exhibition On Equal Terms, the Neue Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) is showing an on-site documentation exhibition on the Uferhallen location and presenting a complete set of the “Art Shares.” What’s it all about? The Uferhallen were sold by the state of Berlin in 2006 to a small group of private investors, UferHallen AG. In 2011, they initiated a unique project for which they invited around 120 artists to design 25 shares each as works of art. Over 3,000 so-called “art shares” were created in this way. They securitised a share in the 38,000 square metre site and at the same time represented original works of art. The aim was to spread the shares as widely as possible in order to secure the Uferhallen as a cultural location in the long term. In 2017, a group of investors led by the Samwer brothers became the majority shareholder of the AG. They decided in 2021 to effect the sale of the remaining free shares via a squeeze-out procedure. Despite this development, the art shares played a decisive role in the ongoing talks between the majority owner and current owner, the district and the senate with the aim of securing Uferhallen as a cultural and studio location.
As early as 2014, n.b.k. had acquired four art shares for the Artothek collection and in 2018 – on the initiative and with the financial support of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Mitte district office – secured a further 20 shares in order to give the small shareholders a say. With the squeeze-out, UferHallen AG was transformed into Marema GmbH, all art shares were devalued and are to be returned to the artists as pure works of art.
In its exhibition on the history of art shares, n.b.k. traces the development of the Uferhallen and the genesis of the project around the public company. Art shares of all participating artists will be on display. At the same time, at the invitation of n.b.k. and in cooperation with On Equal Terms of Uferhallen e. V. and Berlin Art Week, the entrance gates of the Uferhallen will be occupied by site-specific works by Rosa Barba, Maria Eichhorn, Herta Müller and Karin Sander.
Curator Uferhallen Art shares: Anna Lena Seiser
Curatorial assistance, research: Cilia Jonda, Hansjörg Schneider
Accompanying Programme On Equal Terms
Wednesday, 14 September 2022, 19:00, Manfred Peckl aka anger ranger (lyrics) & Ivar van Urk aka each/ache (sound): Help!
Friday, 16 September 2022, 19:00, Ann Schomburg: Celebrating Time
Saturday, 17 September 2022, 19:00, The Worldwide Network for an Unconditional Basic Income (Tommy Neuwirth)
Following the group exhibition On Equal Terms, the mediation format “Kunstquartett” opens up spaces for young people. Pupils from Berlin-Wedding meet artists from the Uferhallen. In three workshops they will have the opportunity to get to know artistic thinking, working and research. The children and young people from the Albert-Gutzmann-Schule are invited to try out artistic practices themselves and create their own works of art.
Concept and management: Gloria Aino Grzywatz
Workshop 1: 26. September 2022, Studio Bianca Kennedy – Video
Workshop 2: 28. September 2022, Studio Hansjörg Schneider – Works on paper
Workshop 3: 29. September 2022, Studio Bettina Scholz – Painting
Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 14. September to Sunday, 25. September 2022
Opening: Wednesday, 14 September 2022, 18:00 – 22:00 hrs
Wednesday – Friday 14:00 – 20:00, Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 18:00
Special opening hours Berlin Art Week (14.–18.09.2022):
12:00 – 22:00
Uferhallen e.V., Große Halle, Uferstraße 8–11, 13357 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen
Free admission. No registration is necessary.
Please wear an FFP2 mask. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible. Barrier-free WCs are available.