Museful Open Call for Artists & Art Collectors

Open Call for Artists & Art Collectors Group Exhibition: “Unhidden”

Zemin Art Space, 5-16 July 2024
Curator: Diren Demir


In private collections, artworks often become instruments of economic and social leverage, losing their original cultural contexts and meanings. Speculative nature of the art market commodifies artworks, reducing them to financial assets valued more for their potential to appreciate in monetary terms than for their cultural or aesthetic significance.(1) This reductionist view strips artworks of their deeper meanings, transforming them into tradable goods devoid of context. The “Unhidden” exhibition questions how art institutions and market forces collaborate to shape the value and recognition of art to serve economic and ideological interests.(2)

In the contemporary art world, the practices of art collection and ownership are increasingly driven by motives of “decoration” or “investment”, rather than a genuine appreciation for the intrinsic cultural and historical value of artworks. This commodification and privatization of art are symptomatic of broader socio-economic structures that prioritize wealth accumulation and social stratification over cultural democratization and public engagement. The exhibition Unhidden at Zemin Art Space, facilitated by Museful, critically addresses these issues by aiming to reconnect art with its authentic purpose and reintroduce it into the public sphere.

The way art is perceived is fundamentally altered by its context and presentation.(3) When art is confined to private collections, its perception is often skewed by the collector’s intent—whether for personal adornment or financial gain. This issue is compounded by Pierre Bourdieu’s observation that “the acquisition of art often serves as a means for the elite to assert social distinction and cultural superiority”(4) This dynamic underscores how the true essence and societal role of art are overshadowed by its function as a status symbol.

Art has the capacity to disrupt the distribution of the sensible by revealing unseen or unheard realities, thereby challenging existing power structures and hierarchies. (5) By bringing artworks from private collections back into the public sphere, the exhibition seeks to democratize access to cultural artifacts and create a way of deterritorialization them.

Deterritorialization refers to the process by which existing norms, boundaries, and conventions are challenged and deconstructed, creating new contexts and meanings that resist commodification.(6) The act of retrieving and displaying artworks that have been sequestered in private collections serves as a form of deterritorialization (or re-definition of the territories of art that is currently dominated and immersed by the power structures.) The exhibition disrupts the conventional pathways through which art is consumed and valued, breaking away from the traditional, commodified view of art as mere investment or decoration, that is implemented by the privatization of art.

Unhidden directly challenges these dynamics by advocating for the public visibility and engagement of art. The collaborative nature of this process emphasizes the relationship between collectors and artists. By facilitating a deeper dialogue between the collector and the artist, the exhibition seeks ways to research the ways in which artworks are perceived and questions how to reveal their true power and essence. This partnership ensures that the historical and cultural narratives of artworks are preserved and communicated, avoiding the marginalization/silencing of the artist’s voice and intent by market forces. This collaboration serves as a new model for ethical and accessible art collection and exhibition practices.

The exhibition advocates for a more inclusive, accessible, and culturally enriched approach to art appreciation and collection, aligned with the principles of cultural democracy and social justice. Through this initiative, Museful strives to restore art to its rightful place in the public consciousness, ensuring that its profound meanings and historical contexts are celebrated and preserved for the benefit of all.


(1) – Thompson, “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art”
(2) – Hans Haacke, “Museums: Managers of Consciousness,” in Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, edited by Alexander Alberro and Blake Stimson, MIT Press, 2009
(3) – Berger, “Ways of Seeing”
(4) – Bourdieu, “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste”
(5) – Rancière, “The Politics of Aesthetics”
(6) – Deleuze & Guattari, “A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism In the context of Unhidden”

– We will welcome diverse artistic mediums, including installations, sound art, light installations, video projections, paintings and many more.
– Projects that reinforce or perpetuate homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, antisemitism or any form of discrimination/violence will not be evaluated.
– Proposals must be submitted in English.
– All applications submitted will be considered final and treated as such.
– The exhibition does not aim to sell any art, the project is about the exhibition of works that have already been sold.
– You can apply to the exhibition with more than one work. However, you can only apply on behalf of works that have been sold and whose exhibition possibilities are restricted.

– Only the artist who owns the work or the collector who has purchased the work can apply to the exhibition. Each applicant must inform the other in advance and update them during the process, this will be carried out with the co-operation of both people. 

– The artists and collectors who are selected to take part in the exhibition will be offered the opportunity to participate in the podcast series as well as the exhibition. 

– Applications can be submitted from all over Germany and Europe.

We will assist with the transport of works within Berlin free of charge, but the applicant must pay for the shipping of works from other states of Germany and other countries in Europe. 

– Applications are free of charge, Museul and Zemin Art Space do not profit from this project. 

Opportunity Includes: 
-Zemin Berlin’s physical exhibition space for your use.
– Technical equipment and support.
-Curatorial support/mentoring from Zemin Gallery and Museful board. 
– Press materials, social media visibility and PR support.
– Participation in the Podcast series. 
– Transportation within Berlin.

Exhibition: 5 July – 16 July 2024

Deadline to apply: 26.06.2024, 23:59pm

If you have a question or have specific accessibility needs for your submission, please send an e-mail to

Please note that we are unfortunately unable to provide feedback and will only reach out to successful applicants or shortlisted projects.

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