Auszeichnung
künstlerischer Projekträume
und -initiativen
There is probably no ideal project space, and that is exactly what is ideal about this format; the openness and the freedom that allows it to take any shape and direction. Project spaces are versatile structures that can be morphed in many different ways, reflecting the circumstances and the people that are part of the process. To us, a project space is a kind of utopia, although there is no fixed ­concept of an ideal project space. Project spaces are very much constantly evolving, changing, and adapting.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.Die Umstände für unabhängige Projekträume haben sich bei gleichbleibender Dringlichkeit für deren Existenz geändert: Wir brauchen weiterhin Freiräume, in denen die Frage „Wie wollen wir zusammenleben in dieser vernetzten und verletzten Welt?“ auf viele verschiedene Arten gestellt und Annäherungen an eine mögliche Beantwortung ausprobiert werden können. Die massiv gesteigerten Raum­mieten in Berlin und die fast ausnahmslose Finanzierung nur über Projektförderung und die Nichtunterstützung von Infrastruktur erschweren und verunmöglichen größtenteils Experimentation, Ausprobieren, einen Raum zum Scheitern und damit Lernen. Projektanträge müssen vorab bis zum letzten Ergebnis ausbuchstabiert werden inklusive der erwarteten Zuschauer*innenzahl. Das fesselt viel Ideenreichtum und Mut zu Neuem, es verhin­dert gleichzeitig ein kontinuierliches Arbeiten und hält Projekträume dauerhaft in einem Zustand ungesunder, prekärer Arbeitsbedingungen. Was wir uns für die Berliner Projekträume wünschen? Planbare, langfristige und nachhaltige Förderung mit Respekt und Vertrauen in Räume, die seit Jahren wesentlich zur Kulturlandschaft beitragen.