Kunst Raum Mitte Open Call Research Residency

The municipal gallery Kunst Raum Mitte is the reorganization of galerie weisser elefant, which was founded in East Berlin in 1987. With Natalie Keppler and Agnieszka Roguski, the gallery has new artistic directors for the first time since its foundation in 2024.  As a prelude to the program, a two-month research residency will be announced, in which artists and cultural practitioners can explore the historical material of galerie weisser elefant for the first time. More information about the Open Call here.

Kunst Raum Mitte is calling for applications for a residency program running for two months between June and August 2024 (exact dates negotiable), targeting researchers, artists, curators, writers, and other cultural practitioners. This open call welcomes both individuals and groups with a focus on archival practices. The submission deadline is April 28.

The focus of the residency program is on the historical materials (exhibition photos, press articles, correspondence, administrative files and ephemera on exhibition projects) of the former galerie weisser elefant. Founded in 1987 in Almstadtstraße in what was then East Berlin, its establishment marked a significant moment in the cultural landscape of the GDR. Shaped by the political upheavals of the time, galerie weisser elefant became a vital platform for emerging independent art with an oppositional character. It played a significant role in challenging and broadening the conceptual boundaries within the art discourse of the period.
Notably, performances and action art reflected the artistic zeitgeist, symbolizing a cultural awakening. The gallery derived its name from a nearby restaurant, known as the “White Elephant”, situated in Almstadtstraße as well. This choice of name served to connect with the history of the former “Scheunenviertel” (“barn quarter”) while evoking associations within the context of
up-and-coming art. In 1998, galerie weisser elefant relocated to Auguststraße, where it continued to showcase interdisciplinary projects in a municipal exhibition space until 2023. As Kunst Raum Mitte, the gallery is undergoing a reorganization to broaden its profile and evolve into a place for intersectional discourse.

When: The Research Residency takes place between June and August 2024 (two months in total, exact dates negotiable).
Where: The residency offers a workspace and access to the material on site at Auguststraße 21, Berlin Mitte, during the week (and by appointment).
Presentation / event: The residency includes a presentation in the form of a public event and/or exhibition. The format and design will be determined in consultation with the Artistic Directors. A separate budget and honorarium are available for the presentation, based on the rates set by the Fonds für Ausstellungsvergütung (FABiK) of the Berlin Senate Administration.
The residency includes the option of an online publication on the new Kunst Raum Mitte website, which will be released in collaboration with the Artistic Directors.

Connection to the archive: Applicants should be interested in the specific history of galerie weisser elefant or in performance art and/or mail art of the GDR as well as municipal and/or cultural politics of East Berlin in a broader sense.
Kunst Raum Mitte encourages and welcomes applicants from varied backgrounds. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Unfortunately, the architectural accessibility is not guaranteed, as Kunst Raum Mitte is located on the first floor, and access is only possible via stairs.
Applications from groups/collectives are welcome.
Residents should live primarily in Berlin for the duration of their residency. Kunst Raum Mitte does not cover any travel or relocation costs. Residents can organize the time they spend in the gallery themselves, but their presence should become visible.
We cannot consider incomplete applications. If a written application is not possible for you, please get in touch via opencall@kunstraummitte.berlin.
Application Documents Completed application form with description of motivation, interest or outline of project
Work samples: Portfolio or (material) listing with two to three already realized projects that engage with historical materials or archives.
CV: max. 3 pages incl. listing of past and present projects/exhibitions and funding. Group applications: list of past projects; additionally, short bio of each member of the group The submitted materials should be combined into one pdf and should not exceed a total size of 2 MB.
All application documents can be submitted in both German and English. However, an understanding of the German language is helpful, as most of the archive material is written in German.
The application deadline is 28 April 2024. Agnieszka Roguski and Natalie Keppler (Artistic Directors of Kunst Raum Mitte) will decide on the awarding of the residency with the involvement of external consultants. The selected applicants will be notified by the middle of May 2024.
Applications should be sent to: opencall@kunstraummitte.berlin
Questions about the open call can be directed to Annika Reketat, Fellow in the Curating and Management in Public Institutions program of the District Office Mitte: Annika.Reketat@ba-mitte.berlin.de Kunst Raum M

Website link: http://www.kunstraummitte.berlin/#en

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