künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen
Heute wie damals würden wir die Bedeutung des Raumes selbst als primären ­Einfluss auf die Art der Initiative betonen. Das bedeutet auch, dass eine andere räumliche Konfiguration möglicherweise ein ganz anderes Ergebnis hervorbringen könnte. Wir würden immer noch empirisch und experimentell vorgehen und das Projekt lang­sam aus seinen Versuchen, Fehlern und Glückstreffern entstehen lassen. Von der Politik wünschen wir uns mehr Unterstützung beim Thema Immobilienspekulation und bessere Gewerbeverträge. Die Herausforderung nach Corona ist es, neue Situationen der Geselligkeit zu schaffen, die offen und sicher zugleich sind. Das ist kein Ziel, sondern eine Voraussetzung für unsere zukünftige ­Existenz.… But definitely key words such as “project space”, “artist-run”, “grassroots”, “laboratory”, etc. are still good key words (to be constantly re-discussed) that underline the spirit and intention of such open experiments that somehow can only function as open experiments! A free interactive and inclusive format to create, express, and ex­change interdisciplinary ideas with spontaneous, playful, DIY approaches; having access to and exchanging various physical spaces to manifest all facets of what independent cultural production can unfold – also in the sense of creating social awareness and responsi­bility due to the fact that every single participant, no matter the “role” or “title” is deeply aware & involved in the process of making things happen, sharing responsibilities and profits (if there are any 🙂 … Investors and businesses assumed the form of faceless international partnerships with enormous capital and devouring public resources deciding on the future of all citizens, delivering less and less social protection and consideration for cultural and social diversity.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.