Mette Kleinsteuber,
Luise Mörke,
Elisabeth Stumpf,

Exchange as Concept

Studying at university, one’s environment is observed and questioned with heightened curiosity. In exchange with the self and others, positions and awareness develop. Instead of ultimate goals, the inbetween should be embraced as the centre of one’s studies. It is precisely this inbetween that lies at the heart of our exhibition HECKE.

The cooperation between students at weißensee kunsthochschule and three students of Art and Visual History at Humboldt-University was initiated by Prof. Pia Linz and began in the fall of 2016. Now, in July 2017, the results of this interdisciplinary dialogue are being presented at project space Kunstpunkt in Berlin Mitte.
The exhibition’s topic of exchange must not be understood in regard to the individual art works.

It instead refers to the surrounding they were created in — school — where working side by side is part of the daily routine. This interdisciplinary encounter on the occasion of HECKE extends beyond mere strategic planning, providing a space for the exchange of thoughts. Curating is understood as an equal interplay between students of two very different backgrounds, who are strictly separated academically, but become inseparable in later professional life.

The exhibition had a rather unconventional starting point: No works had been preselected, the exhibition space was already decided on and all of the participating artists worked with a large variety of thematic and technical approaches. In order to distinguish HECKE from the presentations which take place at the end of every semester and to encourage the discovery of cross-work references, it was decided against a thematic and in favor of a formal framing.

The partition of the gallery space into rectangles of equal size and their attribution to each artist by chance reflects the initial — almost completely random — situation in any art school class. From this point onwards, each individual can now design their alloted space and even trade places, provided that the surrounding environment agrees. During the team meetings the similarities between these premises and the circumstances in a conglomerate of garden plots was noticed: There, every single allotment gives its tenant the opportunity to unfold a world of its own, away from urban everyday life. At the same time, neighbourly communication is essential to a thriving community. The title of the exhibition HECKE (German for hedge) ties in with these associations. Hedges are — in sharp contrast to walls — lively borders in the literal sense of the word. While distinguishing plots of land from each other they do not cut the natural links existing between them.

This exhibition is not a mere project, striving towards efficiency and going off without a hitch. Instead it is considered an experiment, an opportunity to try out new, more democratic ways of exhibiting — free from the pressures of success or profit-orientation — allowing for unconventional detours along the way.