Formate des WIR

Current Perspectives on Collective Formations, Activities and Work Approaches since the 1960s in Berlin

23 May–14 December 2013

Event Series
Dokumentationen der Veranstaltungen

Location(s): Staatsgalerie Prenzlauer Berg, Greifswalder Str. 218
Lichtblick-Kino, Kastanienallee 77
ausland, Lychener Straße 60
KuLe Theater, Auguststraße 10
Museum der Unerhörten Dinge, Crellestraße 5-6
Archive Kabinett/Books, Dieffenbachstr. 31

Project group

Matthias Einhoff, Heimo Lattner, Achim Lengerer, Annette Maechtel, Miya Yoshida

What strikes one about the current debates among Berlin-based cultural producers is that – perhaps too rarely? – what has already been made, thought of and practiced is called up and passed on as knowledge.

Since the 1960s, art has been increasingly engaged in no longer determining attributions of meaning and representations. Instead, it was about testing models that produce anti-hegemonic, discursive practices for differentiated public(s). This is associated with collective and hybrid forms of production, mediation and distribution that, as artistic formats, question and go beyond the conditions and mechanisms of exclusion as they can be found in the established, bourgeois, cultural institutions, the art market and urban space.

Possessing the advantage of historical distance, FORMATE DES WIR seeks to look back in time and at Berlin. The event series is dedicated to the following questions: Which formats have been developed by artists in Berlin for opening up new spaces of action within social fields of conflict? In which formats of WE have democratic procedures been tested in an exemplary way? Can their strategies, methods, conditions and processes be applied to present-day social processes of negotiation?


Thursday, 23 May 2013, 20.30h,
Event (1)
STAATSGALERIE Prenzlauer Berg, Greifswalderstr. 218, 10405 Berlin

The events will be held in German

WE vs. I - Collective Artistic Approaches in East Berlin in the 1980s

During the preliminary discussions for this event it became clear that no-one involved at the time actually used the term >Collective< – as this was both obsolete and discredited in a collectively-organised Socialist system. In the 1980s it was more often the case that the subject appeared as a provocation, with exaggerated gestures, and proceeded to openly mock the state. Ronald Galenza described the situation in contemporary East Berlin as an “open-ended interaction” in which artistic disciplines were concentrated in and restricted to the smallest possible space.
The event gathers together protagonists from the contemporary scene who will, using audio and visual documentation from the time, examine the following issues:
- What role does the WE play in a situation of political subjectivization?
- In which spaces and contexts did artistic production occur, using which distribution channels and which resources?
- Was everything unofficial automatically subversive?
- To what extent can we speak of a “networked” scene?
- Have the artistic strategies and aesthetic concepts become irrelevant or redundant with the disappearance of the state to which they were opposed?

Frieda von Wild/ ccd (with Sabine von Oettingen, Katharina Reinwald, Esther Friedemann, Domenique Windisch, Robert and Jenny Paris, Frank Schäfer, Sven Marquardt, Jürgen Hohmuth and others, 1983-88)
The acronym ccd stood for “chic, charmant und dauerhaft“ (chic, charming and lasting) and was an ironic play on the quality of official GDR fashion production standards. Inspired by a combination of boredom and the desire for an individual lifestyle, they began to design together outfits and accessories that couldn’t otherwise be purchased. Without permission from the state, and consequently with impressive success, the group presented these designs in elaborate fashion shows. The project Allerleirauh later grew out of the ccd group.
Wolfram “Wollo“ Ehrhardt/ Der Demokratische Konsum (with Ralf “Ralle“ Scherff, Detlef “Deo“ Buschkowski, Heiko “der Bittere“ Röder, 1983-86) The band performed without official permission, their own instruments or any musical knowledge in cellars and attics in the context of the East Berlin cassette culture, which developed in the niches of the 1980s, when recordings in a studio were unimaginable. Official uniforms were redesigned as outfits for the band, and in the band’s name (“Democratic Consumption”) they toyed with an “ossified functionary’s Socialism”.
Micha Brendel/ Auto-Perforations-Artisten (with Else Gabriel, Rainer Görß, Via Lewandowsky, 1985-1991)
The collaboration was a “mutually felt revolt” (Brendel) of visual artists who rebelled against official functional GDR concepts of art with absurd performances and actions to the point of self-injury.

Annett Gröschner, author of, among other works, Durchgangszimmer Prenzlauer Berg. Eine Berliner Künstlersozialgeschichte der 1970er und 1980er Jahre in Selbstauskünften,
with Heimo Lattner and Annette Maechtel from Formate des WIR.

Sunday, 11 August 2013, 19 h,
Event (2)
Lichtblick-Kino, Kastanienallee 77, 10435 Berlin

Videomagazine und Kinospots - Mediale Interventionen und alternative Distributionsformen im Kontext des innerstädtischen Stadtumbaus im Nachwende-Berlin

with AKKRAAK, A-CLIP u.a.

Saturday, 17 August 2013, 11-18 h,
Cycling tour (3)
Meeting point: ausland, Lychener Straße 60, 10437 Berlin

Zusammen überleben –
Alternative Wohn- und Arbeitsprojekte im Nachwende-Berlin

with Peter Arlt and Mathias Heyden

Tuesday, 05 November 2013, 19 h,
Event / Talk
KuLe Theater, Auguststraße 10, 10117 Berlin

Befragung hegemonialer Strukturen.
Entwicklung der Freien Theater - und Performanceszene in Berlin
seit den 1990er Jahren

Guests: Aenne Quiñones (stellvertretende künstlerische Leiterin des HAU)
Tone Avenstroup, Janine Eisenächer, Anja Ibsch (Vertreterinnen des Performer Stammtisch)

Thursday, 21 November 2013, 19 h,
Museum der Unerhörten Dinge, Crellestraße 5-6, 10827 Berlin

“Mapping collectively alternative models of learning:
Student protests in West-Berlin in 1988/89 as starting point”

Guests: Roland Albrecht and Birgit Auf der Lauer

The entrance is free.

The 5th event of Formate des WIR will take place at the Museum der Unerhörten Dinge located in a 20 m2 space, inbetween two buildings in Schöneberg. The evening will start with a warm welcome by Roland Albrecht, director of the museum. After the introductory speech about his institution and its unique collection, Birgit Auf der Lauer, a guest collector of the evening, will present a one legged table and offers research materials that can be used for the mapping.

The evening will be conducted in English and German.

Saturday, 14 Dezember 2013, 20h,
Archive Kabinett/ Books, Dieffenbachstr. 31, 10967 Berlin

Guest: Dan Kidner (curator and writer, London)
Admission is free.

The sixth evening in the series of events starts with the publication Working Together: Notes on British Film Collectives in the 1970s (ed. Petra Bauer and Dan Kidner, 2013) and a discussion with Dan Kidner. The discussion will focus on questions about the historical work with collective, political practices from the perspective of contemporary curatorial and artistic research methods. The discussion will be accompanied by screenings of short examples from the film collectives London Women’s Film Group, Berwick Street Film Collective and Cinema Action.
The publication Working Together: Notes on British Film Collectives in the 1970s is structured in four sections: introductions, a second part is essay-based and poses the question of the publication or artistic origin of historical, collective material, the third section contains conversations with film makers and film theorists, including Ann Guedes, Humphry Trevelyan, Steve Sprung and Paul Willemen; and finally an archival section which collects texts from film journals like Screen and Afterimage, as well as information pamphlets and statements from the various film collectives from the era 1970-1982.

Dan Kidner is a curator and writer in London. From 2011 to 2013 he was director of Picture This in Bristol, and co-director of City Projects in London from 2004 to 2011. During the last ten years he has produced a number of artists’ films, including Full Firearms (2011) by Emily Wardill, Abyss (2010) by Knut Åsdam and The Empty Plan (2010) by Anja Kirschner and David Panos.

For further information about the former events please visit