Distanz Verlag Gmbh Llc
Negotiating the City with the Means of Art.
Berlin figures prominently in the world of visual art—it is not only where many artists of international renown make their work but also the place they call home and a vital source of inspiration. The Uferhallen in the Wedding district are one such site, and they exemplify the city's expansive possibilities as well as the market pressures that threaten to shut them down. The unique creative community that calls the Uferhallen home has grown over the course of more than a decade. In 2017, an investment group acquired the land with the studios on it, prompting the establishment of an artists' initiative; most of its more than sixty-five members work on the premises. How can a city safeguard the existence of spaces that nurture art's potential to drive social change? And which artistic strategies do we need to prepare society for the challenges of the future? These questions were brought into focus in Eigenbedarf, a group exhibition in 2019 with works by John Bock, Monica Bonvicini, Maria Eichhorn, Valérie Favre, Heiner Franzen, Asta Gröting, Katharina Grosse, Miriam Jonas, Fabian Knecht, Peter Knoch, So Young Park, Lois Weinberger, and many others. The book also titled Eigenbedarf (“personal need”, The term increasingly used for a legal loophole in Germany to evict longstanding tenants) gathers detailed information on the project's context and installation shots from the exhibition and portrays the Uferhallen's artists in their studios.