“If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag” takes a look at the artistic scenes in West Berlin before the fall of the Wall through the history of the DAAD’s Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme. As part of the residency programme, international cultural workers were invited to the city from 1963 onwards to save West Berlin from “cultural isolation”. An exhibition in three chapters – at the n.b.k., the daadgalerie and the Galerie im Körnerpark – as well as events at the Akademie der Künste shed light on the role the programme played in the formation and networking of artistic practices during the Cold War and question its cultural-political orientation. The focus is on the activities of the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme, which was founded 60 years ago by the US-American Ford Foundation and continued by the DAAD from 1965 onwards, especially with regard to the politically motivated background of the intended internationalisation of the West Berlin art scene.
Fig. above: © Photo: Agnes Denes. Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. Graphic design: Klimaite. Klimaite, Berlin
At the Galerie im Körnerpark, Agnes Denes’ first solo exhibition in Germany since 1978, entitled “Agnes Denes. Early Work” traces the ideas she developed for a grant from the Berlin Artists’ Programme that never materialised. Alongside a newly conceived wall piece, early photographic and drawing works from the 1970s and 1980s will be shown, which have shaped Denes’ artistic programme to this day and deal with questions of science, ecology and body politics.
The exhibition at n.b.k. focuses on artistic forms and positions in Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s, which are presented in dialogue with contemporary artists (Ieva Epnere, Kasia Fudakowski, Isaac Chong Wai). Based on historical projects in public space (such as ADA – Actions of the Avant-Garde and Hotel Room Event or actions by Daniel Buren, Endre Tót, Milan Knížák), works of West Berlin Critical Realism (Bettina von Arnim, Maina-Miriam Munsky) and Maija Tabaka’s painting from the former USSR, or the international network around Jürgen Schweinebraden’s EP Gallery in East Berlin, the interplay of artistic movements within and beyond the borders of the divided city will be traced.
In the daadgalerie, the focus is on questioning the genesis and the cultural-political mission of the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme in its first ten years. Using historical works (by KP Brehmer, Wojciech Fangor, George Rickey, Bridget Riley and Emilio Vedova, among others) as well as new productions with reference to documents and ephemera from the programme’s archive [by Contemporary And (C&) and Sonya Schönberger, among others], artistic networks are opened up and established institutional narratives are renegotiated.
Two days of events at the Akademie der Künste are dedicated to the interdisciplinary orientation of the Berlin Artists-in-Residence programme and the close cooperation between the two institutions since its founding. On the one hand, the focus is on film works and artistic works created in the 1970s that reflect West Berlin as a place to live and a divided city from the perspective of the fellows (including Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Safi Faye, Edward Kienholz). On the other hand, the Electroacoustic Studio based in the AdK, which has its origins in the East Berlin Laboratory for Acoustic-Musical Border Problems, will be thematised on the basis of the work of Frederic Rzewski, one of the first fellows, and contemporary sound artists (Clara Maïda, Karen Power).
Films by scholarship holders and other artists will be presented at two film screenings in public spaces. In Körnerpark, videos by contemporary artists will be shown that enter into dialogue with Agnes Denes and her work. At Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin-Kreuzberg, filmic approaches to West Berlin as an urban living space will be presented, some of which come from the audiovisual archive of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin programme.
The creation of collaborative situations defines the artistic practice of Alicja Rogalska, who has designed a mediation programme for the cooperation project. Current information on dates and actions will be announced on the websites of the participating institutions.
Curators: Nóra Lukács, Melanie Roumiguière
Associate curators: Kaspar Aebi, Malte Giesen, Krisztina Hunya, Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, Natalie Keppler, Angela Lammert
Exhibition dates: “Agnes Denes. Early Work” from 9 September 2023 to 14 January 2024
Exhibition opening: Friday, 8 September 2023, 6 p.m.
With Open Air Screening “Contemporary Women Artists in Dialogue with Agnes Denes” at 8 pm in front of the Galerie im Körnerpark
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)
14.09.2023 – 14.01.2024
14.9.2023 – 14.1.2024
Galerie im Körnerpark
Schierker Str. 8
9.9.2023 – 14.1.2024
Friday, 8 September 2023, 8 pm
Contemporary women artists in dialogue with Agnes Denes
Screening in public space with works by Ana Alenso, Kasia Fudakowski, Alicja Rogalska
Saturday, 16 September 2023, 5-7 p.m.
Exit! Exit? Exit
Performance by Isaac Chong Wai with Katherine Leung, Yannis Mitsos, Imola Nagy, Eva Robayo, Nobutala Shomura
Saturday, 16 September 2023, 8 pm
Cinematic Approaches to West Berlin
Screening in public space with works by Egon Bunne, Clemens Klopfstein, Ken Kobland, Antonio Skármeta
Bethanien Art Quarter
Sunday, 17 September 2023, 4 pm
Assuming Asymmetries: THE MISSING HOUSE by Christian Boltanski and Christiane Büchner, Andreas Fischer
Book launch and discussion with Joanna Warsza, Sarah Alberti, Erik Sandberg a. o.
Große Hamburger Straße 15/16
Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 7 pm
Berlin Lost. Searching for traces of a Jewish Berlin
Screening with films by Richard Kostelanetz, Daniel Eisenberg, Su Friedrich
Friday – Sunday, 13-15 October 2023
Sound installation with audio recordings from the BKP archive by Hanno Leichtmann
Tuesday, 17 October 2023, 7 pm
Solitaries #1: Ingeborg Bachmann
Reading and talk with Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro, Nhã Thuyên a. o.
Thursday, 19 October 2023, 7 pm
Lottando la vita – Lavoratori italiani a Berlino (1975, 99 min) by Videobase (Anna Lajolo, Alfredo Leonardi, Guido Lombardi)
Tuesday, 24 October 2023, 7 pm
Soul Sisters. Sisterhoods
Screening with short films by Maria Lassnig and Su Friedrich, commented by Sylvia Sadzinski
Thursday, 26 October 2023, 8 pm
Hardly believable transition between two worlds
Concert with works by Frederic Rzewski, Luc Ferrari, Clara Maïda, Karen Power
Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg 10
Wednesday, 1 November 2023, 5 pm
Berlin or a Dream with Cream? West Berlin as a place to live and a divided city in the 1970s.
Screening, discussion and archive presentation of works by Daniel Buren, Marcel Broodthaers, Safi Faye, Edward Kienholz
Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg 10
Thursday, 2 November 2023, 7:30 pm
Space and Time
Lecture-Performance by Lily Scherlis based on interviews with contemporary witnesses of the BKP
Thursday, 9 November 2023, 7 pm
Kristina Talking Pictures (1976, 90 min) by Yvonne Rainer
New Berlin Art Association
Thursday, 16 November 2023, 7 pm
Archive Fever – Artistic Work with and in Archives
Talk about the exhibition interventions by participants in Yvette Mutumba’s seminar at the Institute for Art in Context at the UdK Berlin
Thursday, 23 November 2023, 7 pm
A Friend’s Bathroom
Performance by Grażyna Roguski
New Berlin Art Association
Thursday, 30 November 2023, 7 p.m.
A Second Quarter (1975, 88 min) by Lawrence Weiner
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
Free admission to all events