Auszeichnung
künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen

2021

Ashley started out as a self-funded project. This allowed presenting art in a self-determined way, especially by working artists not part of the commercial art market but also those flying under the radar of larger public institutions. Of course, this model also brought up the question of sustainability. In the last few years, with rising rents and spaces closing down, this question has become more and more pressing for everyone on the free scene. Winning the project space prize in 2018 was a pivotal moment for Ashley, particularly because beyond recognizing the work done by independently-run spaces, the prize money could be spread over several years to keep our program running. However, a prize also follows the logic of exceptionality which puts a lot of pressure on project spaces to ‘perform’. Hence, the structural funding program by the Senate significantly changed the conditions of our work because by ­confronting us with the administrative work inherent in public funding, we evolved our own internal structure to accommodate longer-term planning while still maintaining the flexibility needed to track the subtle changes in the art communities around us. Before this program, going from project to project rather than planning two years ahead, it was difficult to apply for project funding due to the fact that application deadlines are often one year in advance and therefore difficult to meet if you are not a publicly-funded institution or commercial project with the resources to plan several months or even a year ahead. So this program does help a lot to allow project spaces to stake a claim on public art funding. At the same time, with the structural funding approved on a two-year basis, it remains unclear how this mode of operating will last a few years, or even one year into the future.The Project Space Prize has not only saved many spaces and kept them alive for a longer period but basically generated a unique experimental and diverse art scene in Berlin. The Prize has also very much encouraged the founding of new spaces, fueled by the hope of receiving funding at some point. More than anything, it is an example of how much a certain public funding strategy can completely shape a local art scene.Kunst ist ein dialogischer Prozess, der zwischen Kunstschaffenden und Rezipient*innen entsteht. Ihn lebendig zu halten, offen für Fragen, Irritationen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten. Sowie auto­nom arbeitenden Künstler*innen einen Raum zu geben, das sehen wir als unsere Aufgabe an.