Professor of Drawing, Department of Painting
The exhibition HECKE at Kunstpunkt Berlin is a cooperation between students of the Departments of Painting and Visual Communication at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and students of Art and Visual History at Humboldt-University, Berlin. The project is supported and overseen by lecturer Hanna Hennenkemper and myself.
Everything began with a friendly chitchat at an exhibition opening at Kunstpunkt. Heinz-Günter Herpel, owner of the project space, spontaneously expressed his idea to invite my class to hold an exhibition at his gallery. Back then, we loosely decided on the end of the summer semester of 2017 as a possible date.
I told the news to my group of students shortly after, adding the following proposals in regard to our approach:
1. We as teachers will determine neither the exhibition’s structure nor its content.
2. Students of Art and Visual History from the team at Kleine Humboldt Galerie will develop the concept in equal cooperation with students at weißensee kunsthochschule.
3. Students of Visual Communication at weißensee will — supported by Prof. Wim Westerveld — design an accompanying catalogue.
Finally, a group of 24 prospective participants came together. Amongst them two students of Visual Communication and one student of Textile and Surface Design, all three of which have been welcome guests in our class for a long time. Three curators from Kleine Humboldt Galerie joined in shortly after. All of the students are at different stages in their studies. Some of them have already been able to gain experience in the field of exhibition-making outside of the university context, while others have not. Impulsive bursts of personal development can sometimes happen during a single semester. For this reason we have decided not to document the exhibition with this catalogue, but to provide valuable insights into the participating artists’ ways of thinking and working.
I would like to thank Hanna Hennenkemper for her cooperation and helpful support in overseeing the entire project. We as teachers thank the students who have given us great joy with their artistic works, their engagement, team spirit and asto- unding perseverance. A special thanks goes to our team of curators — Mette Kleinsteuber, Luise Mörke and Liz Stumpf — for joining us on this adventurous path. Without their ener- getic and stimulating contribution, this exhibition project would not have been feasible in its present form. All of us extend our gratitude to Heinz-Günter Herpel, who has made the project possible through his generous support. During the planning process of HECKE, a culture of communication arose which revealed the participants’ distinctive democratic understanding. The exchange between individual positions turned out to be the project’s most important common ground. The in-between, which emerged first so tenderly and discreetly as a third party, may in the end become a strong social statement.