künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen

The Institute for Endotic Research


Pol Merchan, Pirate Boys, featuring Del LaGrace Volcano, 2021, Ana Alenso, green and yellow, boom and bust, 2018, Foto: Benjamin Busch

Sofia Lomba, Bondage Bodies, 2021, Serie Maintenance! Domestics as Institutional Becomings, Foto: Benjamin Busch

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.The commercialization of the contemporary art scene in the last decade has created alienation and dissociation from the audience. The social filters at the established exhibition spaces, the sterilization of methods of presentation, and over-professionalism have created an image and perception of inaccessibility. In that respect, project spaces and art initiatives that resist these dynamics and strive for keeping direct social contact maintain the political potential of artistic practice. We don’t promote the conventional star system in selecting the artists we are collaborating with; we don’t pursue a hierarchical method by employing an omnipotent curator; we value the critical content and formal experimentalism of the artworks rather than the conditions of their presentation, and we don’t sell any artworks in our space; we don’t invest our energy in commercial speculation. We put an emphasis on the collective and on the social. We keep contact with our immediate neighborhood (in Neukölln), and we prioritize the knowledge about and the cultural accumulation of a particular geography. Hence, we engage in a counter-position against the dominant dynamics that have shaped the field of the contemporary art scene in the last decade. The pandemic condition has also been a drastic element that forced actors in the field to reconsider methods of presentation and social contact.Es ist wichtig, die Räume als freie, unabhängige Räume zu sichern und dies nicht unmittelbar an eine spezifische, lückenlose Konzeption oder einen wie auch immer definierten Erfolg zu knüpfen. Aufgeschlossen gegenüber wirklich offenen künstlerischen Prozessen und aufgeschlossen im Sinne einer nicht normativen Plattform für künstlerische Experimen­te können die Räume nur sein, wenn es Förder- und Sicherungskriterien gibt, die nicht einer bloßen Markt- und Verwertungslogik folgen. Austausch, Resonanz und Verknüpfung sind wichtige Momente – wie kann ein wirklich solidarisches Miteinander der Projekträume aussehen, bei dem es nicht um Konkurrenz und Profilierung gegeneinander geht?