Auszeichnung
künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen

Arts of the Working Class

2018
Lynarstraße
38
Berlin
13353

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Ausstellung und Markt zum Launch der 13. Ausgabe, 2020

Kunst kann fast alles, muss es aber nicht. Heute arbeiten wir in einem neoliberalen ­Turbokapitalismus, der an seine absoluten globalen Grenzen gekommen ist. Ohne künstlerische Arbeit wird es keine nachvollziehbare Übersetzung der jetzt NOTwendigen sozial-ökologischen Transformationsprozesse der west­europäisch geprägten Industriegesellschaften geben.Die Coronapandemie hat uns merkwürdigerweise eher resilienter und produktiver gemacht − und darin bestärkt, immer wieder hinaus in den Stadtraum zu gehen, um zu versuchen, Einfluss zu nehmen.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.