Antwort von Bezirksstadträtin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Frau Clara Herrmann (English translation, please, see below)
District Office Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Department for Finances, Ecology, Culture and Advanced Training
In regard to your protest letter dated 9.12. 2019 we regret that you see the unfair, biased and arbitrary procedure of choice of artists for the exhibitions in the Berlin communal galleries as an occasion for indignation. The communal galleries and exhibition spaces of Berlin are platforms for artistic support and artistic experiments that deal with the cultural, political and historic challenges as well as with the topic of aesthetic education.
In the 34 communal galleries of the city over 1200 artists are shown over a year. This is a very big number of artists and I don’t know any galleries that are so open in their programs as these.
Nevertheless and according to the above mentioned, the programs and respectively the choice of artists that is done by the gallery directiors is done according to the respective profile of each gallery in question, according to the program and according to the criteria as indicated in their program, these are criteria defining the program content, quality and the gallery financial criteria. The privileges that you mention on the examples of artists Ines Doleschal and Susan Piotter don’t play any role in the choice of exhibition projects. In the exhibition space Alte Feuerwache the topic Bauhaus during its anniversary year was relevant and the quality of the Berlin artists’ works that were proposed by curator Ines Doleschal.
Artists can apply for an exhibition at the communal galleries by presenting their portfolios throughout the whole year. Above that, the annual project support program gives all the artists the possibility to cooperate with the district cultural institutions and exhibition spaces and to propose their projects there. An independent jury decides then which project wins the funding. These decisions/ competition results are transparent and are annually made public on the website of the district’s culture department, where also the sum of the money allocated for the winning projects is also indicated.
The temporary cooperation between the gallery directors (Leitung) with the curators has proved to be good throughout many years and it will be also continued in the future. (Independent) curators do not replace the work of the gallery directors on the grounds that are inevitable for the continuity and stability of the decentralized art and cultural programs in the city’s districts.
We accept your critique and will forward it to the communal galleries working groups.
(Signed and sealed)
Letter #2 (for English, please, scroll down)
Antwort von Bezirkstadträtin Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Frau Juliane Witt
District Office Marzahn-Hellersdorf of Berlin
Department for Advanced Training, Culture, Social and Facility Management Issues
Statement concerning the anonymous protest letter by the ARE/Artistic Research Artists Group.
The 34 communal galleries of Berlin show throughout a year an average of 200 exhibitions in which annually around 1200 professional artists take part. The Communal Galleries of Berlin play a central role in showing and supporting of artists.
In this letter you claim that only very few artists are regularly exhibited and supported, this is not true. Also the allegation that the choice of artists is made according “to some arbitrary factors” needs to be clearly rejected. The choice of artists always takes place according to curatorial aspects in each thematic context.
Duplication of exhibitions where the two artists (you mentioned) have been repeatedly shown in one year is naturally not optimal and also it is not the rule. In both abovementioned exhibitions the above mentioned artists were just participating in the exhibitions, these were not solo shows.
In 2013 the Communal Galleries of Berlin have joined up into a Working Group of Communal Galleries Berlin (AK KGB, www.kgbberlin. net) in order to make stronger their presence in Berlin, and also to get long-term possibilities of support for the districts Communal Galleries. Since 2014 for the first time the exhibition fund for Communal Galleries Berlin on the part of the Senatsverwaltung (Senate administration) for culture was set up. Respectively from this fund according to its guidelines, along with the exhibition organisation activity of the respective galleries, the KGB art week is being annually financed. This is a big Art Week taking place all over Berlin with the participation of all Communal Galleries. The program for this Week is developed and coordinated with all Galleries.
A detailed coordination concerning each separate exhibition throughout the whole year is not possible. The Communal Galleries are anchored within the respective districts administrations. Each Gallery is responsible for its own exhibition program.
For the next meeting it is planned to work out a possible regulstion that will be discussed with the communal gallery directors in order to avoid duplications in the choice of artists by the Gallery directors.
signed and sealed
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