Auszeichnung
künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen

Art Laboratory Berlin e. V.

2006
Prinzenallee
34
Berlin
13359

Erich Berger & Mari Keto, Inheritance, 2019, Foto: Tim Deussen

Špela Petrič, Phytoteratology, 2020, Foto: Tim Deussen

Käthe Wenzel, Bone Costumes, 2010–21, Ausstellungsansicht, 2021, Foto: Tim Deussen © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

Käthe Wenzel, Bonebots, 2010–21, Bleiglas, Elektronik, Tierknochen, Waschbär, Koyote, Luchs, 2021, Foto: Tim Deussen © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 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.We are very happy with the network. Whenever we had questions or doubts, the Network had an answer or guided us. Being a project space, we can see how lucky we are to have the support of this organization that has allowed us to be where we are now. We are very grateful to your organization and wish you all the best for the future.I wish that politicians would ­realize how important funding structures are and how much these can shape an art scene – shape a city.