Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag.

Art and Internationalism before the Fall of the Berlin Wall

14 Sep 2023 - 14 Jan 2024

Endre Tót, Berlin TÓTalJOYS, Westberlin, 1979, b&w photography, photo: Herta Paraschin
Curators: Nóra Lukács, Melanie Roumiguière
Associate curators: Malte Giesen, Krisztina Hunya, Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, Angela Lammert

The exhibition If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag is a project by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in cooperation with Galerie im Körnerpark and Akademie der Künste, funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag delves into the artistic scenes that thrived in pre-unification West Berlin within the framework of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program (BKP). As part of the residency program, international artists were invited to the city starting in 1963 to save West Berlin from “cultural isolation.” An exhibition in three chapters – at daadgalerie, 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 practices and networks during the Cold War. It also investigates the program’s cultural and political orientation, which was particularly noticeable in its selection process.

The exhibition at n.b.k. focuses on key exhibitions and art movements of the 1970s and 1980s in Berlin, presented in dialogue with contemporary positions. Through an examination of historical projects in public space, paintings associated with Critical Realism, and the international network connected to EP Galerie Schweinebraden in East Berlin, the exhibition unravels the interplay of artistic movements within and extending beyond the borders of the divided city.

At daadgalerie, the focus lies on the interrogation of the origins and cultural-political mission that underpinned the Artists-in-Berlin Program during its first decade. Drawing on historical works (including by KP Brehmer, George Rickey, and Bridget Riley) and new pieces that respond to documents and ephemera sourced from the program’s archive (including by Contemporary & and Sonya Schönberger), the exhibition traces artistic networks and renegotiates established institutional narratives.

At Galerie im Körnerpark, Agnes Denes. Early Works marks the artist’s first German solo exhibition since 1979 and revisits her original concepts for a BKP grant that never materialized. In addition to a newly created wall piece, early photographs and drawings from the 1970s and 1980s will be on view, offering a glimpse into the influences that continue to shape Denes’s artistic direction, such as science, ecology, and body politics.