nGbK Lectures 2017

29 March–31 December 2017

Event Series

nGbK (Event space, 1st floor), Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin


Robin Detje, Tashy Endres, Akshaya Krishnamoorthy, Suresh Kumar, Beral Madra, Adam Page, Dont Rhine, Ceren Türkmen

Members initiative

The new format “nGbK lectures” was initiated in 2016. In panels and discussions the nGbK will intervene in the public debate, formulate statements, offer solidarity or voice outrage. At irregular intervals, members of the nGbK organise evening events dedicated to cultural-political issues.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 19h
in the event space of nGbK, 1st floor
Uproar! Occupency! Resistance!
About the fight of the Arts against signs of privatization and rightwing populism

Suresh Kumar and Akshaya Krishnamoorthy, Bangalore and Robin Detje, Berlin
Reception: Ingo Arend (Journalist and member of the nGbK board)
Bangalore is everywhere. The contrasts between neoliberal new economy and civil society may be particularly strong in the southern Indian IT metropolis, but the tendency to sell public space piece by piece and to grasp culture as a location factor to increase value and merge it with capitalist corporate culture and brand management is a worldwide problem.
An artists’ revolt took place in southern India in spring and summer of 2016. It ended with a victory of the artists over a large enterprise; public space was successfully defended against privatisation.
Suresh Kumar was one of the crucial initiators of this artists’ revolt in Bangalore. His focus as a visual, installation and performance artist and co-founder of various collective art projects is on the social and ecological effects of rapid urbanisation processes.
He gives an account of the key function of the Venkatappa Gallery, whose occupation averted the hostile takeover and privatisation, and describes the employed artistic and political strategies.
Robin Detje was a resident of the Goethe-Institute in Bangalore. As a member of the Berlin-based artists’ group bösediva, he witnessed and took part in the resistance. He provides the perspective of a foreigner from Europe and attempts to relate his experiences gained there to the situation in Berlin.
Robin Detje is a member of the artists’ group bösediva and lives in Berlin
Suresh Kumar Gopalreddy is the co-founder of various collective art projects including BAR1 studios, the oldest residency programme organised by artists in Bangalore, and zero8zero. Since 2002 he has been gauging the possibilities of competition-free collaboration. He received his Master’s degree in sculpture at the ArtCollege New Delhi in 2002.
Akshaya Krishnamoorthy, born in Chennai (India), lived in Bangalore for five years where she joined the forum and its activities as a volunteer and participated in the series of events. At the moment she is a graduate student in Prague, living in the Czech Republic.

Thursday, 4 May 2017, 19h
in the event space of nGbK, 1st floor
Voicing Dissent: Artistic Engagement, Gentrification and Neighbourhood
Dont Rhine, Boyle Heights, Leonardo Vilchis, Angel and Kean O’Brien
In the debates around socially engaged art workers and institutions, it is a usual claim that art contributes to the common good and that it would be of social benefit to its environment.
But what happens if local communities decide not to be by-standers or willing participants of “socially engaged art projects”, pointing out the fact that the influx of cultural institutions often benefits not so much the inhabitants, but real estate developers in the process of gentrification?
What if this community articulates its own standards for artistic engagement and rather demands an improvement of social services in the area?

Are artists and art institutions inevitably participating in the art-washing and gentrification of their neighbourhood, or how can we think of strategies to circumvent the automatism of urban segregation and displacement in relation to the presence of the “creative class”? And how could we envision an emancipatory art (-institutional) practice at eye-level and in solidarity with its co-producers, non-participants and neighbours?

These and other questions will be discussed together with Dont Rhine (sound artist, Ultra Red, L.A.) and members of the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement (BHAAAD), a L.A.-based community organisation in protest against the gentrification fostered by the presence of art galleries in their neighbourhood (represented by Leonardo Vilchis, Angel, and Kean O’Brien via Skype).

The discussion will be joined by Tashy Endres (urban researcher, activist, Berlin), Adam Page (artist, Berlin), Ceren Türkmen (Ultra Red, Berlin) and further local practitioners who are involved in or work with the issues at stake.

Languages: Presentations in English, followed by an open discussion in German and English
Hosted by nGbK (Joerg Franzbecker, Naomi Hennig, Ulrike Jordan)

Friday, 18 August 2017, 19h
in the event space of nGbK, 1st floor
Art making and curating through the passage of post-truth
Beral Madra

Words of Welcome: Cagla Ilk (nGbK Board)

Post-truth is now a popular term to describe the current paradoxical state of the human condition, epistemology and ontology on this planet. The purpose of capturing the political and economic power is indicated as the main motivation behind post-truth. Turkey is facing the precarious stage of human history intensely with all its dimensions. Thinking and talking about contemporary art making and curating in these times has its serious moments. Contemporary artists, art experts are producing artworks, initiating actions and activities in Turkey. Private institutions and individual initiatives are determinedly effective in fulfilling the cultural aims and intentions such as a clear and unbiased vision towards democratic transformation, freedom of expression and communication, respect to pluralism, human and gender rights, responsibility on ecological problems, development of public awareness. All these principles are currently struggling towards democratic processes and resisting the upcoming totalitarian regime with deep roots in Post-truth politics.
Beral Madra, one of the most influential figures of the new Turkish art scene in the 1990s, talks about the prospects of art and artists in a country inexorably marching toward a dictatorship.

After the exhibition “77/13 – Political Art and Resistance in Turkey” and the event “After the Coup” last fall, this lecture is a further expression of the nGbK’s solidarity with Turkish artists and its engagement with the theme of art in Turkey.

Beral Madra, born in 1942, is an art critic and curator. She curated the first two Istanbul Biennales in 1987 and 1989 as well as the Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale several times, and has been organising exhibitions in Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Athens, and many other European cities until today. In 2010 she curated the art programme of “Istanbul – European Capital of Culture”. She has published a number of books on contemporary art, and as an art critic she regularly writes for periodicals and magazines. In 2012 she belonged to the cofounders of the Kuad Gallery in Istanbul.

Sunday, 10 December 2017, 18h
Event space, 1st floor

Zum Gemeinplatz, Kunst sei emanzipatorisch (DE)
Ruth Sonderegger
Words of Welcome: Kathrin Busch (nGbK Board)
[for more information see the german page]