DREAMS OF ART SPACES COLLECTED emerged as an artistic research project by the artists Dorothee Albrecht, Alf Löhr, Andreas Schmid and Moira Zoitl for the Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK), Berlin in 2007.
Their decision to focus on a collection of video-interviews naturally led towards an extension of already existing networks and experiences, starting from Australia, as Alf Löhr was based in Melbourne at that time, starting from China, as Andreas Schmid has been concerned with Chinese contemporary art since he studied in Hangzhou during the mid-80s, and starting from Europe, but more from the margins of Europe, along the interests of Moira Zoitl and Dorothee Albrecht. This parallel beginning seems very important in highlighting the networking character of the collection starting from different nodal points around the globe. It is conceived as a setout open to affiliation with other networks; an opportunity for the emergence of new networks between artists in different parts of the world.
Investigating visions and experiences in exhibiting and mediating contemporary art, the artists collected various perspectives of artists, curators and theorists with the emphasis on non-profit project spaces and artist run initiatives. To initiate a conversation we used the following questions: If you imagine the art space of your dreams. What’s it like? What is it supposed to do? How would you evaluate existing setups? What are the focus and the strategy of your space? What kind of audiences is your space trying to attract?
Working independently, each research team had a different approach to the questions outlined above. Dorothee Albrecht and Moira Zoitl commenced their investigations by collecting statements from curators and artists who run non-profit project spaces starting from Ljubljana and Istanbul. Andreas Schmid and his Chinese colleagues Laozhu and Li Xiaoshan talked to artists and curators at exhibition spaces in some of Asia’s major cities as well as in the provinces and placed a special focus on contemporary art in the public space. Central to the interviews conducted by Alf Löhr and Ann Wertheim in Australia were the personal needs of artists in terms of production and presentation.
The collection was screened in September 2007 at an international workshop hosted by the IGBK in the project space of the Association of German Artists ("Deutscher Künstlerbund") in Berlin. Invited speakers included, among others:
Teng Yuning, Chinese Contemporary Art Archive, Beijing - Özge Açıkkol, oda projesi, Istanbul - Tadej Pogacar, P74 Gallery and P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E Museum, Ljubljana - Margarethe Makovec, < rotor > association for contemporary art, Graz - Adam Page, Info Offspring, Dresden/Berlin - Chus Martinez, Frankfurter Kunstverein - Philipp Ekardt, Berlin (moderator)
The touring exhibition, which accompanied the symposium, was also shown at the temporary art project "Kunsthalle Berlin-Lichtenberg", the "exex", St. Gallen and was a part of the symposium "Kunst Werte Gesellschaft" of the "German Federal Cultural Foundation" in Berlin and the "Guangzhou Triennial".