Blickwinkel II – by Sophia Vecchini

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Publ. 03.25.2021

For her exhibition “Blickwinkel”, Sophia Vecchini let people without shelter become artists, as they were allowed to capture their everyday lives with a disposable camera. Sophia Vecchini conceived an exhibition from the resulting material. “It’s a nice feeling to give people the chance to be seen: with their perspectives, their courage and look at the world.” The exhibition can be summed up as unique, human and inspiring. Why? Read the interview and learn more about the special project “Blickwinkel”. If you haven’t read the first “Blickwinkel” interview with Sophia yet, you can find it here.

We conducted our first interview during the planning phase of your project “Blickwinkel”. Now, a few months later, the time has come and “Blickwinkel” is on display in the Wilmersdorfer Arcaden, a shopping mall since 24 March 2021.

Yes, I am very pleased that the exhibition now also has a second venue, namely the Wilmersdorfer Arcaden. Due to the current Corona measures, the exhibition at the Zentrum am Zoo has been postponed indefinitely for the time being. In the Arcaden, the exhibition is presented in a glass box. That’s great, because despite Corona, the shops are open for everyday needs. That’s why the arcades still have more than 10,000 visitors a day. This is, of course, a great opportunity for “Blickwinkel” to be seen (despite current Corona measures). The artworks are also offered for sale at the YourArtBeat Market. This is very important to me as I want the artists to get a financial reward too. Because they have taken the time and reflected things.

In the last interview you said that you wanted the artists to get money. But you also said that there were voices that said: Yes, but if you give money to people without shelter, they will probably spend it on drugs or alcohol.

That people without shelter always spend their money on drugs or alcohol is a prejudice, and in my project I want every artist to be seen as a human being and not as a person without shelter. Because for me, it is essential to emphasise that one should not approach people without shelter with such generalised prejudices. Moreover, for me and Katrin Lück, who is the patron of “Blickwinkel” and the Equal Opportunities Commissioner for the Wilmersdorf-Charlottenburg district, self-determination is very important. Equality means equal rights for all. We don’t tell anyone else how to deal with their money.

How many artists were you ultimately able to recruit for your project?

There are now four artists left. I distributed 14 disposable cameras. From the beginning, 20 pictures were planned for the exhibition. I achieved this goal, but it was planned that there would be one or two pictures per artist. The problem is that, on the one hand, some were not interested in taking part in such a project. Many women were not interested and I could hear a little bit from the social workers on site that women are a bit more ashamed. It is definitely riskier to live as a woman on the street and there are also many more men among the poor people without shelter. In the end, only six of the 14 cameras came back, but I also expected this because people without shelter are not always found in the same places. And if they were not there at the time the cameras were collected – yes, then that’s it. Others didn’t know how to use the cameras and had given up, which is understandable. I could not use the pictures of two of the cameras. But it is clear that disposable cameras simply do not have one hundred per cent performance as a product. I now have four male artists left and of course I am very happy about that. I have also had real contact with two of them. That means we discussed the pictures together. The two of them are simply great people and I sincerely hope that they will get something out of it financially. Both are very grateful to all the institutions that support them.

Do you know how old the artists are?

The two I have had contact with are 60 and 62 years old. Of the other two I don’t know more than their names.

If you were to describe your exhibition with three adjectives, what would they be?

Unique. Human. Inspiring. Well, I hope that others feel the same way, but I have been very inspired by this project. At least that had been one of my goals. The aim of “Blickwinkel” is to inspire people to think about certain social issues. Especially about urban poverty and homelessness; to open up a bit more, that homelessness is not just a stigma that is stuck in our heads.

The exhibition “Blickwinkel” can be seen until 30 April 2021 at the Wilmersdorfer Arcaden “WILMA” . Please pay attention to the Corona protection measures in force.

Sophia Vecchini wants to thank: Katrin Lück, Equal Opportunities Commissioner in the Wilmersdorf-Charlottenburg district & patron of Blickwinkel; Petra Schönberger; the management and team of the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo and the ZaZ, as well as all the individual case workers and social workers of the Berliner Stadtmission who have supported me; the sponsors of the tax consultancy Freiberger & Collegen; the YOUR ART BEAT Team! (Editors, Market & Virtual Booth).

The interview was conducted by Carsten Jan Weichelt

Blickwinkel – by Sophia Vecchini

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Publ. 01.14.2021

Blickwinkel – by Sophia Vecchini
Turning homeless people into artists / let homeless people become artists

Sophia Vecchini is currently in her final semester of her media management studies. In her last semester she has to develop and realize a project on her own. The idea of her project to turn homeless people into artists* resulted in a course during her studies and her social vein. “I was in a volunteer course a few semesters ago. It was about creative campaigns, theoretically. The professor introduced us to one of the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo,” says Sophia. Here she received a lot of input. ” During this course we were allowed to think up creative campaigns for the Bahnhofsmission. My group and I had a very creative focus, a lot was about different art forms,” she continues.

That is when she had the idea to look for people who come to the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo as people who are homeless and let them become artists*. They should create art, taking photos from their point of view and everyday life. Photographs that will be presented at an exhibition afterwards. Now the time has finally come: the planning phase has already begun and the idea is being realized. In the first quarter of 2021, the exhibition is supposed to open in the homeless center of the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo. The exhibition is also intended to become a place of meetings and interaction. A place where worlds collide that are usually ignored by the broad mass of society. It is about the artists* showing themselves and being seen as well.

Every person is worth the same, every person deserves to be treated equally. Sophia takes the first step and invites you to join her creative process. In the following interview, she tells us how far she has progressed with planning so far and what difficulties, but also opportunities, have opened up for her.

How did you get the idea?

I am in the last semester of my media management studies. During this last semester we have to develop and realize a project independently. And fortunately, we have a lot of freedom there. I was in a volunteer course a few semesters ago. It was about creative campaigns and the professor connected us with one from the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo. He gave us input. We were allowed to come up with a creative campaign for the Bahnhofsmission during the course. That was when I got the idea to find people who would come to the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo as homeless people. Let them become artists themselves, so that they have the opportunity to show what they can do and be seen. That was catchy. I have a social vein and have worked a lot with children, but not so much in the area of poverty or homelessness. But once you’ve tasted a little bit of, I’d say, blood, and got into more social areas, then you have a drive like that. I did a voluntary social year in a crisis center. There you see an unbelievable amount and an unbelievable amount of formative things, also the view of our society and the problems are changing. It broadens your view of the world in which we are living. I grew up in Zehlendorf, I also went to school there. Somehow, the biggest dramas were that you could not afford the Longchamp bag. Sure, these are clichés, but some clichés are based on truths. And then you were dealing with sheltered people. To have such a contrasting program and to see that it is not always like that has influenced me and I have noticed that in such projects. When it came to developing creative campaigns… I often have a different view on it, because for me the human being and his story is more important than how successful we are now on Instagram. Which is of course not always optimal. But of course, it changes something.

Have homeless people been included in these creative campaigns, and have the campaigns been implemented?

Unfortunately, the campaigns were not implemented, it was more of a theoretical part. So it was more about the concept and the thought processes behind it. We were able to think about how much we really wanted to involve these people and how many and in what way, because there are still many points of contact. So as I just said, with people who live in a sheltered household. Not everyone in the course was so enthusiastic about the idea of sitting in a room with five homeless people.

If you want to work with a homeless person for your project, isn’t it possible that there is a lot of distrust? I imagine it’s difficult to convince people who are homeless for a project just like this.

I have to say that I have asked myself the same question. That is why I was quite fast at the point where I said: OK, I would like to work with the social workers there on site. With the individual case helpers on site, because they know their people and they know who might be interested. But I have to say that I spent a day as an assistant in the Bahnhofsmission am Zoo and you get a feeling for the ambience. For the tone that prevails there. And I went there once for an appointment, for example, I had an appointment with one of the social workers there and at the moment it’s very confusing where the entrance is. There was a group of men who said: what are you looking for? Do you need help? There was actually not much fear of contact from the other side. That’s why I’m relatively optimistic. I also went for a walk with a homeless man who helped me a bit and gave me some advice. The social worker there, with whom I am in contact, she told me very clearly whom I can already contact. Because it is a kind of network. You usually have a relatively regular clientele. Most of them are coming back again and again. That means that internal hierarchies are formed there and that means there are certain people who have more to say than others. From the outside, you don’t have a clue. But if you also have insiders and you get to know the people a little bit, get in touch with the right people, then you get such insights. I went for a walk with someone like that and he told me what could go well…, what could not go that well…, about what I have to pay attention to etc. I had the feeling that there is a lot more confidence in me than I would have thought.

How far have you progressed with the project, what is the current status?

There have been quite a few changes because of Corona. Corona makes everything more difficult. That means it was very, very difficult to find financing. But actually I am at the point where I have found someone who wants to finance the project – thanks to Freiberger & Collegen. Now I can buy the cameras I need for my project. I have to do everything relatively quickly with the clientele that I have to deal with. So from the moment I give the cameras to the 15 homeless people, so to speak, to the finished picture hanging on the wall. It can’ t take half a year. It must be a period of not more than two or three months. Three would almost be too much. Just to keep the 15 people in line. I have to prevent that it is simply lost in the life that the people lead. And the exhibition is only in March, because actually at this time, when winter comes, they have other problems. So they are really more concerned with getting through the winter and still being there next year. Beyond that I try to find further media partners. This is the phase I am in right now. So much planning – it’s just not the fun part yet.

How long do the people without shelter have the camera? In what period of time are you allowed to capture their view on things?

The plan is not really to say: Okay, it’s just one day. I just don’t want to make the time frame so tight, because I also really want to make them artists. I want to give them a chance, and creative freedom. If they can’t find inspiration in one place, they should be able to go to another. Just take their time for it.

How should the exhibition proceed?

I would like to address many different people, but the 15 artists will also be present at the opening. I think the exciting thing about the idea is that you can easily cover several things with it. Of course, it is exciting to participate in such a project and there are people who would simply do it voluntarily. But for many of them, there would be a little bit of a loan missing. That means you usually have to give them a financial incentive as well. In most projects they say that they will get vouchers from a supermarket. Because at least they can’t buy drugs with them. I personally prefer to give them self-responsibility. Of course I don’t want to support that, but I will say it in this way: a normal photographer could buy drugs as well, because he/she is free to decide how to spend the earned money. What matters here is really to treat them like artists. I don’t want to write on the picture or advertising for social reasons: We turn homeless people into artists. I want them to feel that way, too. I want them to feel valued. And another thing that I think is exciting is that when they are at this exhibition and they stand next to their pictures and say: Hey, do you want to buy my photograph? The plan is to let them decide the price for themselves first. Just to see how they rate themselves and what interested people would be willing to pay. Then automatically this confrontation between potential buyers and the people that this whole project is actually about happens. And I would like to see it happen in the center at the zoo. That’s exactly the meeting place to create a situation of talks and encounters.

You say that you would like to give the homeless people just that kind of courage. But I can imagine that you also have to give courage to the other side. So that they say: Okay, I’m going to face this now and I’m just going to get out of my bubble and take a look at it now. Maybe they are also afraid of it, because they don’t know how to act; how to interact with each other? Do you have something planned there, too?

These are good points. The Bahnhofsmission am Zoo is quite well hidden. That means it’s not super central in itself and it doesn’t happen very often that someone just happens to walk by by chance. That means you really have to advertise it more. Theoretically, the center is built in such a way that you have different rooms and can use them for different purposes. Universities or school classes can go there and ask questions. But there are also consultations for homeless people. My hope is that when you arrive there during regular activities, you will also experience life there. At the opening itself, it would be nice if the social workers were also present, because then the reports will be from different perspectives and you can interact with different people. In this way the possible “fear” on both sides is maybe reduced.

The interview was conducted by Carsten Jan Weichelt.

Exit Athena

———— Filed under: Art ⁄⁄ Artist ⁄⁄ Exhibition

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Publ. 10.11.2020

From November 19, 2020 Selma’s solo exhibition Exit Athena can be seen at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. With her surreal-looking multimedia installations, Selma Köran questions traditional power structures and gender relations. For her first institutional exhibition, Exit Athena. the young artist has taken a canonical text of European culture and transformed it into an exuberant cinematic spectacle: Hesiod’s Theogony tells the story of the Greek deities. The artist adds a fictional final chapter to this text, in which she turns the hierarchy of the world of gods upside down. The heroine in Köran’s feminist new version is the wise and rebellious Athena, who competes against her own father Zeus. Selma Köran creates her alternative mythology in a visual language of exaggeration. She brings out the sensuality and aggressiveness in Hesiod’s cosmos and stages it in a colorful and anarchic way. The linear narrative structure of the text gives way to a fragmentary juxtaposition of grotesque film scenes and animated sequences with clay figures.

Selma has been part of the Your Art Beat network from the very beginning and took part in the accompanying program of events at the 2019 group exhibition in Berlin Kreuzberg as part of an “audiovisual dialogue”. She holds a Master’s degree of fine arts and design from the Dirty Art Department, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam.

“Inselgalerie” – The everyday life of a gallery

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Publ. 04.14.2020

On my way to Inselgalerie in Friedrichshain, close to Frankfurter Tor, the area does not seem like a typical place where I would find a gallery. According to gallery director Eva Hübner, galleries must be located in every district of the city. “[…] This part of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district has less cultural and creative offerings than, for example, the area around Warschauer Strasse, and as a result, there are not so many people who often go to galleries without fear of contact“, so Hübner. What does fear of contact mean? There is a certain fear of entering a gallery, but are somehow afraid to enter. I was one of them – but why? Perhaps because a visit to a gallery is not as anonymous as a visit to a museum? “Maybe, but I don’t exactly see it this way”, says Mrs. Hübner. Continue reading “Inselgalerie” – The everyday life of a gallery

Susanne Britz – Digitale Fotodrucke

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Publ. 03.23.2020

Same place, different artist.  I’m still at the Inselgalerie and visiting the exhibition “transformer” because another artist is presenting her artwork here.

Susanne Britz has focused on photographs, pigment prints, and installations of everyday objects. The working process behind these works is exciting and is based on each other, so Susanne Britz runs through different phases during her creative process: it probably starts with an idea, then a spatial installation follows. Here she uses everyday objects from the household, sports equipment, tools from the studio or children’s toys. Once the installation is finished, she takes a photo of this work. Afterward, the photo gets digitally overdrawn.

Many of her artworks that are exhibited here seem like instructions to me, even if I am not sure for what exactly.  But if I am honest, it probably doesn’t matter.

I like the strong colors and the general idea behind this artwork. It’ s funny to see all the things and to realize what you can do with everyday objects.

Usually, I would recommend a visit to the gallery, as the exhibition has been extended.  But nothing is normal these days: Unfortunately during the Corona COVID-19 Pandemic, it is not possible. If you are interested in the art of Susanne Britz, please have a look at her homepage or check the Instagram account of the Inselgalerie.

Homepage Inselgalerie Berlin
https://www.instagram.com/inselgalerieberlin/
Susanne Britz Homepage

#stayhome
#staysafe
#stayhealthy
#takecare

See you soon!

Carsten

Mia Hochrein – Fremde 1 & Fremde 2

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Publ. 03.10.2020

The artist Mia Hochrein works with many different tools for her art. She decides in the creation process which creative tools she uses for her work. As a result, she creates photographs and also installations or performances.

When I stood in front of these two photographs, it was instantly clear to me that I would write about them. Why? Well, let’s start:

Mia HochreinWhat do I see immediately? Two people wearing different textiles and always several of them. The textiles look like old towels, shirts, tablecloths or window curtains. In both pictures, the faces are covered. In my opinion, this gives the photographs anonymity and something mysterious.

Gender is also not directly interpretable. Is it the artist herself, or is it a woman and a man? The hands in the right picture seem a little more masculine, but the feet in the left picture seem more feminine. Perhaps this is too much stereotypical thinking. In the left photograph, the toes also point towards the wall. The rest of the body, however, appears as if the person is looking at me with his or her face. I start thinking and I have to find out what these photographs represent.

Mia HochreinI take a look at the titles of the photographs. They are called “Strangers 1” and “Strangers 2”. The exhibition has the title “transformer” and the gallery manager Eva Hübner tells me that the textiles are garments. Clothes that were once worn by the artist’s mother and grandmother. Several generations are thus connected, quite inconspicuously. Thus the photos express the following for me: Even if some of them are no longer with us, we still carry them with us throughout our lives.  They are a part of us.

Because of the anonymity, I can identify myself more easily with the basic idea. Do you?

The exhibition is on until 23 of march at Inselgalerie Berlin. Have a look!

Marie Kirchner – When Objects Speak Back 1-3

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Publ. 03.4.2020

I’m in the house Schwarzenberg visiting the Neurotitan Gallery. First of all, I walk through the first large room to get into another, a little smaller one. In front of me, there are three overhead projectors. On top of them, white objects that at this point I can’t quite make out yet. I walk closer to the installation. Many small pieces of paper are spread on the floor. I stand directly in front of them and realize that different sentences are written on them. Questions, answers, quotations – it reminds me of a dialogue.

I don’t understand the installation yet, but I think it is exciting and I would like to learn more about it. At one of the overhead projectors, I can see a big elephant tusk.  Not real, of course, just fake. So, what is this installation about?

The artist, Marie Kirchner, is working with colonial objects and with all the questions they raise. Why were they kept in families, and not in museums, for hundreds of years, many generations, and two world wars? The object performance was created in the context of her research on colonial heirlooms.

In the performance, the objects are also meant to become actors, a game with perspectives takes place: am I looking at the objects?  Are the objects looking at me?  Since overhead projectors were used in the Neurotitan Gallery for the first time (normally the objects were always at the eye level of the viewer), I have the feeling of “looking down from above” – which makes me feel more superior.

In this gallery, Marie Kirchner focuses on the object in light and the shadows it creates.  This light/shadow play triggers me. There is something threatening and at the same time mysterious about it, and I ask myself, what the elephant tusk must have seen or experienced? If he were able, he could tell me perhaps so many things. Here it happens: the feeling of superiority disappears and the object becomes an actor. A dialogue takes place in my head. I have to smile a little when I think about it because I imagine myself talking to an elephant tusk. A little fun is necessary.

Now that I know the whole background of this installation, the meaning of the objects and how they treated me in the way of thinking and seeing,  I like this installation really much. Unfortunately, there was no piece of paper in the gallery itself through which one could have learned more.

Marie Kirchner was born in 1980 and grew up in Hamburg. She studied fine arts and has her studio on the RAW GELÄNDE in Berlin. She belongs to the “Freie AusstellungsKollektiv FAK Berlin”.  Come and have a  look at it.

 

Exhibition Introspective in Perspective

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Publ. 05.10.2019

Lita Poliakova
Introspective in Perspective
WerkStadt Kulturverein Berlin e.V.
May 5 through June 9, 2019

Lita Poliakova’s portraits exceed all expectations regarding the genre. Each single work turns both inwards and outwards. We are able to recognize the sketch of a face looking at us like an expressive character in a science-fiction comic. At the same time it seems to turn its interior soul toward the outside at each point of its shaping and color rendering: Like some kind of psychogram which merges associations of different moods and expressions.

On another level, the exhibition is constantly blending humans and nature like some sort of hologram. It is an astonishing and fundamental common ground that comes into view: the elements that all organisms are composed of and dissolve into. These elements are the same in humans and plants. The artist makes use of these micro-components in her splendid organic recycling: She extracts color pigments from organic materials, such as left-over fruits, and applies them to her paintings. There might be unpredictable further variations of these organic colors. Finally, it is the solid, yet expanding crystal structure that could be understood as an anorganic and dynamic complement of the paintings.
Thus, between screen and crystal, the colors continue the play of depiction on a material level.

Is this a human face, whose sense of self, affections, facets and transformations shows up in the emergence of colors? Or is it a landscape or even a singular plant that can be depicted as a human with the help of our gaze? Do we identify the ongoing metamorphosis of a single individual or rather a huge family album or chemistry of humans, flora, and fauna?

Jule Böttner
WerkStadt Kulturverein Berlin e.V.

YOUR ART BEAT MEETS MUSIC

———— Filed under: Allgemein ⁄⁄ Artwork ⁄⁄ Exhibition

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Publ. 04.5.2019

Kühlspot Social Club is a venue for creative music, theatre, art and culture in Berlin Weissensee. They emphasize “social” in their perspective on cultural development and try to promote an inspiring community of artists and art lovers. In the field of music, the main focus is on improvised music, jazz, dance music of all kinds, including improvised dance music, tango, balfolk, and everything always live. In the course of the season – there is a break in late summer and in winter – they have one to three events per week, two to four art exhibitions per year and occasional dance parties. Performance art, theatre events, and action painting with improvised music are also part of the spectrum of the program. The room can accommodate up to 70 people.
Kühlspot is the former studio of the Berlin artist Siegfried Kühl, who died in 2016. His son, the artist Christoph Kühl, runs the Kühlspot. The art of Siegfried Kühl is permanently exhibited and contributes essentially to the great ambiance.
For more information see www.kuehlspot.com/kalender.html
YOUR ART BEAT is happy to be part of the Kühlspot community and exhibit some of its artists, among them Christoph Kühl.

YOUR ART BEAT EXHIBITION

———— Filed under: Allgemein ⁄⁄ analog ⁄⁄ Art ⁄⁄ Artist ⁄⁄ Artwork ⁄⁄ Design ⁄⁄ Digital ⁄⁄ Exhibition ⁄⁄ Market ⁄⁄ painting ⁄⁄ photography
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Publ. 01.21.2019

…where the digital becomes physical. Artists of the YOUR ART BEAT MARKET

-EXHIBITION – GROUP SHOW-

…where the digital becomes physical

is not only the moving motive behind the YOUR ART BEAT MARKET, now it also becomes an active program in a non-virtual form! For the first time, YOURARTBEAT is presenting its artists offline and exhibits the works that were previously only available for viewing and buying in the online shop.

In addition to a lovingly compiled and eclectic selection of original works, as well as specially produced art pieces, also a variety of materials are demonstrated with which we not only experiment and create alternative forms of artistic manifestation, but in particular transform the digital and media arts into physical shape.

Individual media contributions by the artists themselves not only open up new perspectives or give background information, they also enable a more personal encounter with the creators.

YOURARTBEAT look forward to an inspiring interplay of the polarizing textures of the digital-virtual and the analogue-physical, to the exploration of various materials and consistencies in combination with digital art and interactive media stations, creating personal approaches, highlighting and deepening specialized backgrounds.

During the two-week show, there will also be accompanying programs of virtual reality and audiovisual design.

 

Exhibition Opening: 14 Febuary 2019 – 7 PM

Duration: 15 to 28 Febuary 2019

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 4 to 8 PM // Saturday: 1 to 6 PM

Galerie Salon Halit Art – Kreuzbergstr. 72 – 10965 Berlin

 

Digital Collage, Mixed Media, Multimedia Installation, Photography, Fine Arts

  • Group show of the YOURARTBEAT Artists with original artworks and alternative productions of art pieces
  • Demonstration and exploration of a variety of materials used to give digital arts a physical medium
  • Interactive Media Stations with individual contributions of the artists themselves
  • Accompanying programs of Virtual Reality and Audiovisual Design

MEDIA

artconnect   II   creative-city-berlin   II   facebook event

VIDEO

Online Shop YOURARTBEAT Market   II   Official Exhibition Teaser

! Download the official Press Release here !