November 25, 2004 - Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) - Spaces of Conflict at Kunst-Werke Berlin
November 25, 2004

Spaces of Conflict at Kunst-Werke Berlin

Spaces of Conflict: An audio-visual, research based essay on institutional spaces by Mike Bode & Staffan Schmidt at Kunst-Werke Berlin
28 November 2004 – 9 January 2005

Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) &
Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art

Auguststr. 69, 10117 Berlin

The project is curated by Nina Montmann, NIFCA.
It is produced by NIFCA and presented by Kunst-Werke Berlin.

What would the everyday of an art institution look like? The most trivial things of course, having coffeebreaks, monday meetings and answering the mail. But the everydayness of decision making, whose in and whose out, and the shifting importance of different types of institutions, could it be linked to something visual at all?

Mike Bode & Staffan Schmidt portrayed six art institutions in different countries. They interviewed curators and art students, documenting several familiar or revealing viewpoints of the architecture and its surroundings, and commenting on their own researches. The questions raised are, predominantly, directed towards the expectations that the interviewed have in connection with the spaces. The physical spaces, but also the motives, drives and expectations linked to art and the practice of displaying art.The interviews followed three main questions:

A: “In what way(s) does an art space contribute to a community, a city or the society?”
B: “Are there any expectations that an art institution has to negotiate and/or has to live up to?”
C: “Are there any actual spatial alterations that could improve the way that institutions work and communicate?”

The spaces for art have a history of conflicts, not only in the limited meaning that individuals and different groups have struggled over the right to exhibit, but rather the conflict over a significant space for a societal discourse, and to be more precise: a conflictual discourse over societal space. It has proven impossible but also pointless to keep the distinction intact between actual, physical space and conceptual space: much time has been spent discussing virtual architecture and its possible social effects.

The project is realized in collaboration with the following institutions:
Statens Museum for Kunst/the x-room and the School of Visual Arts of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (DK)
Kunsthalle Helsinki and Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (FI)
Kunst-Werke and University of the Arts in Berlin (DE)
Contemporary Art Centre and Vilnius Art Academy in Vilnius (LT)
National Museum for Contemporary Art and the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo (NO)
Rooseum and Malmo Art Academy in Malmo (SE)

The length of the audio-visual presentation is 35’37”

Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststr. 69
10117 Berlin

NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art creates opportunities for artists, audiences, curators and critics to enjoy and explore contemporary visual culture in the Nordic countries and internationally. Tel +358 9 686 430, fax + 358 9 668 594,

Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA)
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