The collaborative project If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag examines the artistic scenes in West Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, based on the history of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. Launched in 1963, the residency program brought outstanding international artists to West Berlin as a signal against the “cultural isolation” of the city, and through its activities continues to leave its mark on many artists’ biographies to this day. If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag looks at the cultural and historical significance of the program in the context of the Cold War, focusing on its contributions to the city’s development as an art metropolis and the internationalization of the art scenes in West Berlin.
An exhibition in three chapters – at the daadgalerie, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), and Galerie im Körnerpark – accompanied by events at Akademie der Künste examines the role of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in nurturing artistic expression and fostering collaboration with various institutions in West Berlin during the Cold War. It also investigates mechanisms of exclusion and gaps in representation resulting from the program’s largely hermetic selection procedures and the strong influences of Western politics and perspectives on its artistic orientation. Thanks to the comprehensive digitization of the archives of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, it is now possible for the first time to assess the program’s history since its launch in 1963 by the Ford Foundation and critically reflect on its activities and related conflicts over the distribution of its resources. The exhibition highlights the connections between the residency program and its fellows with East Berlin and Eastern Europe, its relationship with art movements in the city, and how the invited artists negotiated their artistic position within the insularity of West Berlin.
The presentation at daadgalerie provides insight into the program’s origins and its cultural and political mission in its first decade through the lens of new artistic works developed in response to historical documents and ephemera. At n.b.k., the focus is on forms of networking beyond the borders of West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s. Galerie im Körnerpark will host the first German solo exhibition by Agnes Denes since 1979, retracing the artist’s original ideas for a residency that never materialized. Events and outdoor film screenings at Akademie der Künste will illuminate the program’s interdisciplinary approach. Contemporary artists have been invited to comment on historical contexts through new works, using the archive as a starting point and for artistic material.
Bettina von Arnim, Gábor Bódy, KP Brehmer, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Wojciech Bruszewski, Daniel Buren, Vlassis Caniaris, Rafael Canogar, Isaac Chong Wai, Agnes Denes, Braco Dimitrijević, Piero Dorazio, Ieva Epnere, Wojciech Fangor, Robert Filliou, Terry Fox, Kasia Fudakowski, K. H. Hödicke, Dorothy Iannone, Joan Jonas, Wolf Kahlen, Allan Kaprow, Edward & Nancy Kienholz, Milan Knížák, Jan Kotik, Shigeko Kubota, Joan La Barbara, László Lakner, Maria Lassnig, Madeyoulook, Maina-Miriam Munsky, Ann Noël, Eduardo Paolozzi, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Suzan Pitt, Yvonne Rainer, Remo Remotti, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, Alicja Rogalska, Sonya Schönberger, Shelly Silver, Charles Simonds, Maija Tabaka, Endre Tót, Ben Vautier, Emilio Vedova, Wolf Vostell, Lawrence Weiner, Stephen Willats, Emmett Williams, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Constantin Xenakis a. o.
Associate curators: Kaspar Aebi, Malte Giesen, Krisztina Hunya, Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, Natalie Keppler, Angela Lammert
A project by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program / daadgalerie in cooperation with Galerie im Körnerpark and Akademie der Künste. Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Galerie im Körnerpark: Agnes Denes: Early Work. September 8, 2023 (opening) to January 14, 2024
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.): If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag. September 13, 2023 (opening) to January 14, 2024.
DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program / daadgalerie: If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag. September 13, 2023 (opening) to January 14, 2024.
Akademie der Künste: October 26 and November 1, 2023