The Network of Independent Project Spaces and Initiatives presents
• Between the Fault Lines: Art Washing/Gentrification and Urban Renewal
• Survival Mode: Strategies for Creative Urban Existence
LA and Berlin art initiatives and the Network of Independent Project Spaces
With Carl Baratta, Carrick Bell, Chris Benedict, Aitor Lajarin–Encina, Jorge Mujica, Liz Nurenberg, Raaf van der Sman, Steffi Weismann, H K Zamani
Moderated by Jan Kage
Sunday, June 9th, at 8 PM – doors open 7 PM
ACUD MACHT NEU
10119 Berlin Mitte–U8 Rosenthaler Platz
Between the Fault Lines: Art Washing/Gentrification and Urban Renewal
Independent, non-commercial art spaces occupy a special position in the matrix of art-creating individuals, the local public, society at large, and global connections. They are the smallest collective unit that can act with relative autonomy through a do it yourself philosophy. By collaborating with each other, public discourse in a wide range of topics is generated and context and learning platforms appear as cooperation grows.
In this matrix they trigger interactions, but in turn are also exposed to reciprocal effects. The impact of gentrification and the struggle against it puts artists‘ initiatives increasingly under attack from different sides, as can be seen in Boyle Heights (Los Angeles): art spaces are viewed as harbingers of displacement while at the same time being threatened in their existence by rising rents and living costs.
The span of the term art space ranges from its narrow definition as an exhibition venue to the self-image as a place for coming together, which carries in itself the potential for a self-determined, urban social utopia.
The large gathering of art spaces from both Berlin and Los Angeles at B-LA CONNECT provides a forum to examine areas of contention and open the discussion in different directions.
Survival Mode: Strategies for Creative Urban Existence
The Network of Independent Project Spaces presents its model of organizing and activism to preserve and strengthen the independent art scene, followed by a broader conversation about civic engagement and creative action in the public sphere. This leads to more fundamental questions of what kind of city we want to live in and how we can participate in shaping its future.
Carl Baratta is an artist, art professor, lecturer, curator, co-director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid LA (TSALA), and the B-LA Connect co-organizer and main contact for Los Angeles. In addition, he is co-chair of the TSA Network Exchange Program which includes TSALA's sister spaces in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago and Greenville, South Carolina. He received his MFA in 2005 from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and has shown nationally and internationally. Carl is represented by the Kunstverein Gallery, in Sydney, Australia.
Carrick Bell is an artist, art professor, lecturer, curator, co-director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid LA (TSALA), and the B-LA Connect co-organizer and main contact for Los Angeles. In addition, he is co-chair of the TSA Network Exchange Program which includes TSALA's sister spaces in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago and Greenville, South Carolina. He received his MFA in 2005 from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and has shown nationally and internationally. Carl is represented by the Kunstverein Gallery, in Sydney, Australia.
Chris Benedict, MA of Arts wrote her dissertation on The Economic Impact of the Contemporary Art Scene on the City of Berlin. She now works as an arts administrator, manages art education initiatives and runs the project space WerkStadt Berlin e.V.. Since 2011 she is an active member and serves on the executive committee of the Network of Independent Berlin Project Spaces and Initiatives. She also is one of the speakers of the Coalition of the Independent Arts Berlin since 2016.
Aitor Lajarin–Encina is an artist, educator, curator and organizer born in Vitoria–Gasteiz, Basque Country currently living and working in Los Angeles. Aitor various research interests include contemporary painting and drawing issues in the interdisciplinary field, reception and participation aesthetics, alternative self–organizational models of production, collaboration and organization within the arts, minimum scale and materiality poetics, public space, public culture, and representations of existential anxiety, paradox, absurdity, and uncertainty in relation to our contemporary life conditions. His work has been shown internationally in private and public institutions. He is co–founder and co–director of DXIX Projects and DX–File, two platforms for production and dissemination of contemporary culture art related projects and materials based in Venice, California.
Jan „Yaneq“ Kage lives in Berlin as a publicist, curator and a musician. He shows contemporary artists in his spaces SCHAU FENSTER, KanyaKage and through PARTY ARTY - a club night. He published books on HipHop culture and the art scene and a book of short stories, the „Yaneqdoten“. As a musician Yaneq published several records and played in the movie „Status Yo!“. He hosts the weekly show Radio Arty on FluxFM. Jan Kage has a university diploma in political science and sociology. He is the founder and the highpriest of the Holy Church of Phonk – the church for the agnostic and atheist.
Jorge Mujica (B.1982) Mexico City, Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Mujica's interest in art began with a film camera traveling with his father a photojournalist for the Spanish language newspaper "La Opinion." From there, Mujica was able to mature a critical eye and formulate independent ideas about culture, which influenced him to seek an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Art History from California State University Bakersfield in 2008, MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago in 2010, and MFA in Painting from Yale University. After completing his final degree in 2012, Mujica relocated to Hollywood CA, where he began to work as an independent artist and curator. In 2014 he establishes a studio in Long Beach CA and in 2017 co-found Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space (CACtTUS,) a donation based project space for emerging contemporary artists in a live/work storefront in Downtown Long Beach where exhibitions took place monthly by invited local, national, and international artists. He has shown at the Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA), Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum (San Bernardino, CA), Steven Zevitas Gallery (Boston, MA), Yeah Maybe (Minneapolis, MN.), Basement Projects (Santa Ana, CA), Actual Size (Los Angeles, CA) and Copyright (Berlin, Germany.
Liz Nurenberg (b. 1978) is a Los Angeles based artist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Grand Valley State University (2003) and a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University (2010.) She is a Part Time Lecturer at California State University Northridge and Adjunct Faculty at Otis College of Art and Design. Liz is currently a co-director at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Angeles. She was awarded a fellowship to Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist Residency in 2002, a Helen B. Dooley Fellowship at Claremont Graduate University in 2010 and received a California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in 2014. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally.
Raaf van der Sman is a Berlin-based artist from the Netherlands, and co-initiator of nationalmuseum, a project space founded in 2008 in Kreuzberg. He is also a member of Radical Praxes, a commonality of art makers, art disseminators and art theorists. Van Der Sman studied at the Rietveld Academy, at De Ateliers in Amsterdam and at Cooper Union in New York, and was awarded the Royal Prize for Painting shortly afterwards. His work has been shown internationally in solo and group presentations – including Peninsula, New York; AgvA CIAT, Berlin, Germany; Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem, the Netherlands; Ozean, Berlin, Germany; Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain; Galerie Sandra Bürgel in Berlin, Germany, and August Art, London, UK.
Steffi Weismann is a performer-composer and intermedia artist based in Berlin since 1988. In addition to her solo work, she is collaborating with other artists and groups such as Maulwerker, Annette Krebs, Janine Eisenächer, Özgür Erkök Moroder and Georg Klein. She has received several scholarships from the Villa Aurora (Los Angeles, 2008), the Academy of Fine Arts Braunschweig (Erxleben Scholarship 2009-2011), support from the Goethe Institute for international shows (since 2015) and currently a working stipend (contemporary music/sound art) from the Berlin Senate (2019). In 1990 she co-founded Kunsthaus KuLe, an artist community in Berlin-Mitte, and worked there as a coordinator of the artistic program during the last years. Since March 2019 she is an active member of the Errant Sound group - a project space for Sound Art, that recently moved to Rungestraße 20 in Berlin-Mitte.
H K Zamani is a multidisciplinary artist and curator, and founder of PØST, an alternative exhibition space in Los Angeles (1995-present), where more than five hundred exhibits have been hosted. His abstract paintings are terse and meditative, painterly and deliberately composed. These formal abstractions are inspired by earlier works in which the symbolic appearance of a dome or tent structure is recurring. Interested in the shifting nature of perception and optics, Zamani has drawn from a varied sensory spectrum ranging from the ascetic to the psychedelic. He has exhibited extensively, is a recipient of COLA and CCF Grants, and is in the collections of LA County Museum of Art and Berkley Museum of Art.