PICTURE BERLIN / Berlin, Germany

PICTURE BERLIN / Berlin, Germany

Summer-AIR for emerging and advanced photo and moving image,
performance and sound artists

Series: Urban Contemporary – Hotspot Berlin (Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg), PART IV

Picture your imagination of Berlin!

Celebrating its fifth anniversary and reaching the status of a non-profit organisation, PICTURE BERLIN sets up a Berlin-unique summer scheme.
The programme is formed as a hybrid: Artist Residency and Art Academy. By fostering the personal works of its fellows it sets up as many meetings for additional input by Berlin based artists and curators as possible. The concept is based on the experiences of initiator April Gertler.

Attending several artist residency programmes both in the States and Europe, she appreciated the dense conglomeration of practical labour and brains. The fundamentals of the project are connected with getting precious inspiration and encouragement. And this is what she facilitates for the PB fellows.
The kick-off of this endeavour happened in 2005, when she had a residency in Berlin herself. To end her stay in Berlin April had a gallery exhibition where she realised the
project ‘Picturing Berlin’. She asked 25 of her friends around to world to send her their images and ideas of what they thought Berlin looked like from afar.
In 2014 the programme was extended from four to six weeks in duration due to feedback of the alumni.
There are usually between 8-14 participants, with the max. capacity of 15. This season 12 participants were selected, coming from 8 different countries, two of whom from Australia and Brazil.

Artists and Curators
All Berlin based artists, lecturers and curators can be found on the PB homepage.
Every year a different curator is involved right from the beginning, and for 2014 it was Manuel Wischnewski. There is an interesting interview on the Youtube channel of Berlin Artparasites, dated in January 2012, where he introduces himself and talks about ‘Neue Berliner Räume’ and its projects.

The photo below shows Lotte Møller who curated the PB Summer Session 2012 and was also the PICTURE BERLIN Festival curator for 2014.
The schedule of PB contains exhibitions, site visits, lectures, one on one artist talks with faculty artists and curators, dinners, an artist walk ‘In Search of the Miraculous’, which
leads the fellows through various city spots by a chain of artists talks through various neighbourhoods all in one day;
And in addition a ‘Curatorial Marathon’ is undertaken, where up to nine curators present their practice in one day, and proceed to review portfolios of the fellows the following day.

There was a Two Day Risograph Bookmaking Workshop taking place 20th – 21st August 2014 at ZK/U in Berlin-Moabit, which was part of the PICTURE BERLIN Festival that celebrated the five years’ anniversary.
Public events are hosted throughout the programme and entrance is free. In July and August 2014 all together 17 artist talks, presentations and exhibitions were offered at different locations in the city.

PB alumni photographer Marcus Brownlow, based in North Adelaide, Australia, was a fellow in Summer Session 2012.
He reported enthusiastically about his experiences and told that he just returned to Berlin from Adelaide to participate in the two week PICTURE BERLIN Festival.
Believe it or not, he also speaks German and learned the language at school Down Under.

The facts
PICTURE BERLIN provides its fellows not only with the ‘standards’ like a city tour, networking events, working space and exhibitions, but moreover a practical 80 page Handbook is distributed. The Handbook assembles resources, addresses and tips throughout the city, including bios of all Berlin based artists and curators who are participating, an outline of the day-to-day schedule and practical info.
See the complete version of the 2013 Handbook here.
Additionally, public transportation tickets and a SIM cards are kept ready for the new arrivals. And they are encouraged to attend three German language lessons to help with a few basics.

All together, the summer programme is just fabulously planned out in practical terms, combined with profound content and warm-hearted care.
Accommodation is not included, but of course useful advice can be given or even organised, if desired.
The costs
undeniably make quite an amount: 3295 Euro without housing, 4495 Euro with housing. But one of April’s credos is that everyone working for the programme, especially the curators, receive an honorarium. So, the fee is well calculated to keep it all running.
PICTURE BERLIN partners are e.g. LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, Neue Berliner RäumeZK/U, bbk Druckwerkstatt, and their media partner is Berlin Art Link.

Grant Yarolin about Picture Berlin 2014

photo right:
alumni residents Laurie Jane Polson
and April Gertler.

More info on the PICTURE BERLIN homepage, on Facebook and Instagram feed.

Interview with April Gertler, Director of PICTURE BERLIN,
Berlin, 23rd August 2014.