Klausurtagung und Call for Action 2021

1 August–31 December 2021

Invididual Production

Place Internationale, Carola-Neher-Straße / Corner Maxie-Wander-Straße, 12619 Berlin
station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin

Members initiative

Dear Members,

at our annual general meeting in June last year, we decided that nGbK should participate in the planning procedure for the use of one of two pavilions on Karl-Marx-Allee (KMA) financed by Berlin’s Senate Office for Culture and Europe, with the aim of moving into new, municipally-owned premises when our rent contract for Oranienstrasse 25 (owned by Victoria Immo Properties V S.à.r.l. of Luxemburg) runs out in July 2022. We also decided to pursue our discussion of nGbK’s self-image, to develop a concept for the forthcoming move, and to politicize the processes of exclusion and forced relocation currently impacting Oranienstrasse.

The pavilion on KMA is not scheduled to be ready for use until 2027, meaning an interim of at least five years—enough time for us to work together on developing the self-image of nGbK as an art society, to look for new forms of cooperation and exhibition practice, and to talk about the kind of spaces we need for our artistic, curatorial, and discursive work. To create an initial platform for this process, we invite you to a two-day closed conference on Friday and Saturday, August 27-28, 2021. Further such conferences will follow.

During this first closed conference, we want to gather views, wishes, and ideas for a discussion paper (possibly in the form of an ePaper) that can serve as the basis for nGbK’s transformation phase(s). Rather than creating a programmatic document, we will be aiming for a snapshot of desires, impulses, and ideas that can be revised and expanded over time.

With this invitation we hope to reach not only those who have shaped the society in the past or who shape it today, but all of those for whom it is important, beyond programming and project realization, to work on the still open-ended immediate and mid-term future of an art society based on grassroots democracy, with all the resulting contradictions.

The main question is how we, as an art society, want to operate outwardly and how we want to work together within the society. What forms might our shared experience and activation of social spaces in the city take, with our various agendas and desires, needs and contributions, within a broad range of constellations and timescales? But also: What are the consequences of realizing these demands and wishes—for nGbK, for its politico-cultural milieu, for the neighbourhoods in which it operates, and for us as the members, staff, visitors, and guests of nGbK?
Helped by feedback from the moderator, we will conclude by jointly developing the first draft of a document that will guide us during the transformation phase. The conference will end around 18:00.


Friday, 27 August 2021, 12:00
Visit to the future location on Karl-Marx-Allee (de)
Meeting at the pavilion entrance to Schillingstrasse subway station (U5,
Schillingstrasse, corner Karl-Marx-Allee)

Sounding 1 – nGbK as part of urban society (de)
Meeting point: in front of station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin

Do we want to be an (art) space for the many? How do we want to talk to each other? How can we reflect critically on mechanisms of exclusion and combat the invisible barriers that are still reproduced by spaces like nGbK in spite of all our efforts?
How do we want to act within an urban society where we—as individuals and as an organization—are part of many other spaces and neighbourhoods? How do we maintain our political activity and solidarity on Oranienstrasse, a street now plagued by gentrification, where nGbK has played an active role for decades? And what will be the specific contribution of artistic production?

From 18:00
Soft Opening of the exhibition »Gemeinsam Räume offenhalten - Kartierungen am Cotti, am Kotti und am Hermannplatz«
station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin

Saturday, 28 August 2021, from 10:00
Breakfast at »Place Internationale«
Meeting point: in front of station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin

Sounding 2 – Imagining Social Spaces (de)
Meeting point: in front of station urbaner kulturen, Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin

How do we imagine everyday operations at the future nGbK? How can our wishes and demands be brought into line with current and future conditions? Do we view nGbK as a platform for all manner of things, or do we want to define specific themes?
How much stability and how much spontaneity would we like to see in the society’s work? And what are the implications for a future understanding of project culture and programming?

Financed by