27 January–12 March 2022
The exhibition “Through the Archive” reflects on the numerous forms of artistic participation generated during 7 years of station urbaner kulturen in Hellersdorf and examines their potential for the future of the district.
Since 2014 and its origins in the “Art in the Underground” competition, the station urbaner kulturen has established itself as nGbK’s second location. Hellersdorf was the youngest housing estate built in the GDR. Its post-1989 history and recent transformation are inscribed with questions of social urban development, common welfare and city-wide contexts. The station’s programme continually adresses these issues from various perspectives, using participatory artistic practice as a central tool. Art seeks to have an impact on the neighborhood and create new public spaces. Like the green land named by the station as “Place Internationale”, spaces are created where artists work with residents on questions of how we want to live together in the city.
In the next legislative period in Hellersdorf the council is planning three major urban development projects. Parts of the “Helle Mitte” area will be redesigned in an attempt to make it the district’s cultural and economic center. A school campus will be planned for the “Place Internationale” green space and an outdoor swimming pool attraction is to be built on the Jelena Šantić Peace Park.
“Through the Archive” looks at seven years of participatory art projects in and around these three locations. In doing so, it shows the contributions that residents and artists have already made to these spaces, with their own demands and ideas. The exhibition is an appeal to the urban development office to embrace and strengthen these informal contributions by setting up comprehensive participatory planning processes.
Wednesday, 26 January 2022, from18:00
Soft Opening of the exhibition
Saturday, 19 February, 18:00 (de)
station urbaner kulturen and via zoom
Artist talk “Wo können, wo sollen wir spielen?” with Juan Camilo Alfonso
The exhibition ‘Through the Archive’ focuses on formats of participatory art. As part of the exhibition, the artist and primary school teacher Juan Camilo Alfonso will present his project ‘Kartogramm’ which was made in 2020/21 in collaboration with young residents from the refugee accommodation at Maxie-Wander-Strasse 78 on the Berlin-Hellersdorf estate.
‘Through the Archive’ shows the joint actions, demands and ideas that residents and artists have contributed to the estate during seven years of station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf. Juan Camilo Alfonso’s project gives a voice to young people’s perspectives – specifically to the generation most affected by current council plans for a new school campus on the green land they use named “Place Internationale” and on the site of the refugee accommodation.
During his artist talk, Juan Camilo Alfonso will present the ‘Kartogramm project’ as well as his work as an elementary school teacher in Bernau. From his perspective as a teacher, he will talk about the role of art in schools. He will also discuss the question why art that is made in schools is so seldom shown to a wider audience in art exhibitions. A risoprint publication documenting the project will be available free of charge in a limited edition at the talk. It presents the project in detail and visualizes it with a poster format.
Juan Camilo Alfonso is a Colombian artist and teacher of graphics and painting who has been working in public space since 2009. He has been living in Berlin since 2016.
His artistic practice evolved from street art to performance and then later to site-specific participatory projects. Based on the understanding that shared historical memories can rebuild broken social fabrics, his projects call for social interaction to support reconciliation processes in different contexts. In 2019, he graduated with honors from the Master’s program Art in Context at the University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin. Since 2020, he has been teachering in Bernau and been part of the working group “station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf”.