Lens-based performance artist Kim Engelen

Communistic Curating
Experiment #1 Berlin: This should have been a group exhibition
17 Jun 2015 | Wed | 7pm
Flyer This should have been a group exhibtion

Artist/Concept: Kim Engelen
Invited Curator: Evgenia Giannopoulou
Catalog Publisher: Freigeist Verlag
17 Jun 2015 | Wed | 7pm | Performance
Location: Inner/outerspace, Charlottenstraße 19 (Near Checkpoint Charlie), Berlin

Book Communistic Curating - Experiment #1 Berlin

With Communistic Curating I attempt to develop a tool or mechanism to both constructively bring a group of artists together working with an “All for One and One for All”- approach and/or a “Power to the Artists”- mentality. In general the idea of Communistic Curating is: sharing, support, transparency, non-competitive and committal action. Additionally all income generated by (any of) the artists during the process, is to be shared among the artists in equal parts. Communistic Curating is an idea to be experimented with, and explored through the process of collaboration, and depending on the experiment, to explore if it is possible for artists to support each other, share knowledge, skills and experience and be transparent about their in/output. Communistic Curating aims to explore a subtle alternative mode for organizing a group show together as artists. Communistic Curating is set up as several experiments, which means that it can both fail or be successful in its ideology and construed plan.

Summary #1
In Communistic Curating - Experiment #1 Berlin, the design was to organize a group show in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, which took place on the 9th of November 2014. The initial proposal was to organize a well-visited group show together, with an accompanying catalog, press attention and sales from the artworks. The participating artists were a small group of inter/national artists living and working, or having lived and worked in Berlin. The financial outcome would be shared in equal parts among the participating artists. This document (which is not online yet) is the reporting of the group dynamics and communications which took place during this process of Communistic Curating, called Experiment #1 Berlin.

Experiment #1 Berlin
A ten-weekly roadmap was offered to the artists to follow in order to get all the organizational aspects of the show done. And additionally a contract was presented in which the artists would agree in advance to share all the income that would be generated through or from the specified show amongst each other and in equal parts. The artists would meet each other on a weekly basis for two hours at location _garage Berlin, Holsteinische Straße 39, 12161 Berlin (Steglitz). This with the notion that if you were not there, you could not voice your opinion about any decision/s or alteration/s that was/were made during that particular meeting (following the ten-weekly roadmap). An additional four extra hours per week were to be expected for organizational matters that had to be done outside of the group meetings. Most of these parameters changed during the process of the collaboration. The group formation changed, the meeting location changed, the regularity of the meeting changed, the initial blueprint changed into the ten-week roadmap, the following of this ten-week roadmap was altered and the exhibition on the planned date did not took place. The process Communistic Curating - Experiment #1 Berlin ended somewhere in week 6

This document tries to describe in a transparent and exposing manner the process, the pains, the anxiety, the failures and the successes of Communistic Curating - Experiment #1 Berlin. Nevertheless I used abbreviations instead of the full names of the artists, in order to be able to write freely and straightforward about the actions that happened (or not). For this report I made use of the information from the meetings, emails, action plans, contracts, texts, polls and such that were visible and accessible for all participating artists. And I tried not to use information from the personal talks before and after the meetings, talks during our locations visits and phone-calls. Here and there I have used some elements of this in order to make certain group dynamics clear, but I tried to keep the report as factual as I could.