POLARIS INTERNATIONAL Limited in association with QJUBES Das Kunstetzwerk are calling for investors in yet another initiative by Panagiotis Chatzistefanou: FOUNDATION “VS”. This is part two of the upcoming proposals by an artist, media face and curator from Greece.
I propose a cultural institution with a particular emphasis on communication between German and international artists and intellectuals.
It is a given that Berlin is world-famous as a center for artists, writers and intellectuals of all and every kind and nationality.
Less apparent is the fact, that due to language difficulties and the esoteric spirit that still characterizes German culture since the “Sonderweg” idealism of the 19th Century, there is a gap of communication between German and international artists.
Big names such as Gerhard Richter, Gregor Schneider, Martin Kippenberger and Joseph Beuys are well known and admired within a circle of erudite art lovers, but do not enjoy their rightful place in the pantheon of the international art scene.
There is a clear need for a cultural vehicle whose specific aim will be to promote and disseminate the message of German art around the world. It is also important to do this without resorting to a blatant promotion initiative which would be discredited as state-funded propaganda or self-serving promotion.
I posit that the best way to promote German art to the international art world is through direct contact between the artists themselves.
I imagine an institution which is a focal point from which German artists instigate direct dialogue with their colleagues around the planet, one country at a time.
The conceptual format of this project is very simple. Someone could say even populist.
11 German artists, one each for every month of the year, show their work in the institutional space.
In opposition, or dialogue, 11 artists from a specific and different country every year, again one for each month, simultaneously respond to the German artists with their own work, in parallel exhibitions under the same roof.
Think of an “artistic football match” between a German national team and an international.
On the 12th month of the year, a retrospective of what was shown in the Institute during the past year goes on show.
Think of an “artistic Champions League,” so to speak.
The end-of-the-year exhibition will contain only one piece of work from the work of each artist, 22 works in total, a recapitulating crosstalk determining the essence and degree of dialogue between the two teams.
The simplicity of the exhibition format (or even naivety) is specially designed so as to attract as much as possible the attention by the public, both German and international. It is purposely designed as a simple and easy to understand scheme. It is also a format that is easy to disseminate through the media, helping to promote the idea of artistic dialogue.
The content of the project, however, is meant to adhere to the highest curatorial standards in order to safeguard the cultural significance and prestige of this endeavour. It is extremely important to select and display only the most sophisticated and accomplished artists, the representation of German art and culture at the level it deserves success.
I would like to clarify that I am not suggesting an institution that trivializes art for the sake of cheap impressions. I emphasize that the exhibition format is only a simple access point, an easy approach to issues that are complicated and carry deep meaning.
Parallel activities of this institution could be seminars, lectures and art editions including books, serigraphs, etc. The aim of this is to ultimately build an International Foundation for Visual Arts in Berlin.
Because this project concerns the international image of German art, it needs state support and assistance. I think it would not be possible for this project to be properly grounded if only privately managed.