Invited by IGBK and initiated by Werner Schaub, 76 artist-run initiatives from throughout Europe took part in the open forum Art Swap Europe at the Berliner Akademie der Künste on October 11 and 12, 2008. 

Apart from the presentation of the invited initiatives the event focused on artistic exchange and networking in Europe.

The call for participation in the event was addressed to different organisational forms of non-commercial artist-run exhibition and project spaces. This resulted in a broad spectrum of artists’ initiatives being shown in Berlin, including small temporary spaces like A Certain Lack of Coherence from Porto, exhibition spaces with a long tradition like the Gallery of the Slovak Union of Visual Arts in Bratislava, galleries that are managed by artists like the Produzentengalerie Passau and the Künstlergalerie Bonn, and initiatives with a special thematic focus. Among the latter were, for example, the Einstellungsraum from Hamburg which focuses on artistic projects concerning road traffic, or Het Rondeel, which works as a "cradle to cradle lab" in Maastricht and supports the creative conversion of discarded objects. During the two days of the event the initiatives had the opportunity for discussions and face-to-face meetings in the ‘Open Forum’, as well as for the introduction of their work and concepts in an exhibition in the foyer of the Akademie der Künste.

Three panel discussions complemented the talks and presentations.

  • In the first panel moderated by Petra Reichensperger, Andreas Joh. Wiesand (ERICarts) and Sabine Bornemann (Cultural Contact Point, Bonn) discussed artist mobility and appropriate support programmes in Europe.
  • The second panel, titled "networks – platforms – structures", featuring Maria Backman (Nordic Art Association), Daniel Suter (network OffOff from Switzerland) and the curators of (Hamburg, 2009), Brigitte Kölle and Tim Voss, presented existing networks in the European context. The discussions in this panel predominantly dealt with the definition of the term "off", however.
  • In a third discussion, the "best practice" panel, moderated by Grit Ruhland and Michael Stellmacher (project "being organized" (On Call) Dresden), different artists’ initiatives gave an insight into working concepts and organisational structures. Lådan/the mobile box (Gothenborg), IDEE 01239 e.V. (Dresden) and Stedefreund (Berlin) attended the discussion and several participating initiatives in the audience used this opportunity to join the conversation.

In the evening the participants had the chance to join a guided tour through the exhibition Cairoscape at Kunstraum Kreuzberg, to learn about the Berlin-based exchange project of the two curators Antje Weitzel and Marina Sorbello. On the second day most participants visited kolonie wedding e.V. – a network of project spaces and galleries in Berlin Wedding.

The great interest in Art Swap Europe showed a demand for discussions and exchange. It is remarkable that representatives of 70 involved initiatives from cities such as Istanbul, Stockholm, Porto, Paris and Tallinn joined Art Swap Europe in Berlin. Among the 250 visitors were delegates of additional European artist-run initiatives which used the event to network and participate in European artistic exchange. (Text: Florina Limberg)

Programme and Documentation


Art Swap Europe Catalogue

Presented Initiatives, Organisations, and Networks

A Certain Lack of Coherence (Porto), Artist Studios South Tel-Aviv (Tel-Aviv), Art Laboratory Berlin (Berlin), Art pavilion (Podgorica), arttransponder (Berlin), a Sala (Porto), cargobar (Basel), CirkulationsCentralen (Malmö), Cultural Center ’CK’ (Skopje), Dada Post (Berlin), D.I.V.O. institute (Kolin), EINSTELLUNGSRAUM (Hamburg), Exhibition Centre Constantin Brâncusi (Chisinau), FIT freie internationale tankstelle (Berlin), Formverk (Eskilstuna), Galleria Espoonsilta (Espoo), Galleri 69 (Oslo), Gallery of the Slovak Union of Visual Arts (Bratislava), guestroom (London), Hafriyat Karaköy (Istanbul), Heidelberger FORUM für KUNST (Heidelberg), Het Rondeel (Maastricht), Hobusepea Galerii (Tallinn), IDEE 01239 e.V. (Dresden), immanence (Paris), Impex (Budapest), Jet (Berlin), Koh-i-noor (Kopenhagen), Künstlerforum Bonn (Bonn), Künstlerhaus Dortmund (Dortmund), Kunstbahnhof Dresden (Dresden), KUNSTFAKTOR Produzentengalerie (Berlin), Kunst-Imbiss (Hamburg), Kunstpflug (Brück), Kunstverein GRAZ (Regensburg), K2 Contemporary Art Center (Izmir), Ladan/the mobile box (Göteborg), LE (9) BIS (Saint-Etienne), Lokal-int (Biel-Bienne), Mad Woman in the Attic (Porto), microwesten (Berlin/München/Oberstdorf/Kassel), montanaberlin (Berlin), Oficyna Malarska (Warschau), PENG! raum für kunst (Mannheim), petersburg project space (Amsterdam), Piramid Art Center (Istanbul), Plan 9 (Bristol), platform (Vaasa), Prima Center Berlin (Berlin), Produzentengalerie M (Potsdam), Produzentengalerie Passau (Passau), Pryzmat Gallery (Krakau), Rael Artel Gallery (Tartu), Remont Gallery (Beograd), rosalux (Berlin), Senko Studio (Viborg), sparwasser hq (Berlin), Stapelhaus (Köln), Start Art (Reykjavik), Stedefreund (Berlin), Studio 44 (Stockholm), Substitut (Berlin), Titanik (Turku), The White Tube (Oslo), trottoir (Hamburg), Udstillingsstedet SPANIEN19C (Aarhus), Unten Drunter (Malmö), UNWETTER (Berlin), uqbar (Berlin), Verkligheten (Umea), video tank (Zürich), Visite ma tente (Berlin), 7. Stock (Dresden), 26cc (Rom), 91mQ art project space (Berlin), :mentalKliNiK (Istanbul), Artquest (London), berlinerpool (Berlin), Kolonie Wedding e.V. (Berlin), New Work Network (London), Nordic Art Association (Schweden), OFFOFF - Independant Art Spaces Switzerland (Schweiz)