If the Berlin Wind Blows my Flag. Art and Internationalism before the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Exhibition venues: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), daadgalerie, Galerie im Körnerpark
Sep 14, 2023 – Jan 14, 2024
Opening: Wednesday, September 13, 6 pm

Artists: Bettina von Arnim, Gábor Bódy, KP Brehmer, Marcel Broodthaers, Wojciech Bruszewski, Daniel Buren, Vlassis Caniaris, Rafael Canogar, Dalibor Chatrný, Isaac Chong Wai, Contemporary And (C&), Agnes Denes, Braco Dimitrijević, Piero Dorazio, Martin Engelman, Ieva Epnere, Wojciech Fangor, Safi Faye, Robert Fillou, Kasia Fudakowski, Gyula Gulyás, K. H. Hödicke, Dorothy Iannone, Joan Jonas, Wolf Kahlen, Allan Kaprow, Edward Kienholz, Milan Knížák, Jan Kotik, Shigeko Kubota, Raimund Kummer, Joan La Barbara, László Lakner, Maria Lassnig, Madeyoulook, Clara Maïda, George Moorse, Maina-Miriam Munsky, Ann Noël, Roman Opałka, Eduardo Paolozzi, A. R. Penck, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Karen Power, Luiza Prado, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rehfeldt, Remo Remotti, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, Alicja Rogalska, Grażyna Roguski, Frederic Rzewski, Sonya Schönberger, Jürgen Schweinebraden, Shelly Silver, Charles Simonds, Petr Štembera, Maija Tabaka, Endre Tót, Ben Vautier, Jiří Valoch, Emilio Vedova, Wolf Vostell, Lawrence Weiner, Stephen Willats, Emmett Williams, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Constantin Xenakis a. o.

Curators: Nóra Lukács, Melanie Roumiguière
Associate curators: Kaspar Aebi, Malte Giesen, Krisztina Hunya, Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, Natalie Keppler, Angela Lammert

The collaborative project If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag examines the artistic scenes in West Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, based on the history of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. Launched in 1963, the residency program brought outstanding international artists to West Berlin as a signal against the “cultural isolation” of the city, and through its activities continues to leave its mark on many artists’ biographies to this day. If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag looks at the cultural and historical significance of the program in the context of the Cold War, focusing on its contributions to the city’s development as an art metropolis and the internationalization of the art scenes in West Berlin.

An exhibition in three chapters – at the daadgalerie, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (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 expression and fostering collaboration with various institutions in West Berlin during the Cold War. It also investigates mechanisms of exclusion and gaps in representation resulting from the program’s largely hermetic selection procedures and the strong influences of Western politics and perspectives on its artistic orientation. Thanks to the comprehensive digitization of the archives of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, it is now possible for the first time to assess the program’s history since its launch in 1963 by the Ford Foundation and critically reflect on its activities and related conflicts over the distribution of its resources. The exhibition highlights the connections between the residency program and its fellows with East Berlin and Eastern Europe, its relationship with art movements in the city, and how the invited artists negotiated their artistic position within the insularity of West Berlin.

The presentation at daadgalerie provides insight into the program’s origins and its cultural and political mission in its first decade through the lens of new artistic works developed in response to historical documents and ephemera. At n.b.k., the focus is on forms of networking beyond the borders of West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s. Galerie im Körnerpark will host the first German solo exhibition by Agnes Denes since 1978, retracing the artist’s original ideas for a residency that never materialized. Events and outdoor film screenings at Akademie der Künste will illuminate the program’s interdisciplinary approach. Contemporary artists have been invited to comment on historical contexts through new works, using the archive as a starting point and for artistic material.

A project by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program / daadgalerie in cooperation with Galerie im Körnerpark and Akademie der Künste, funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

Exhibition booklet