The driving question of “Die Balkone: Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity” — the initiative that took place during the Easter weekend at the windows and balconies of Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg — is a well-known one: how does art respond to our time? It was an urgency that put us into motion, to break the sense of helplessness which is intensified by the media. The postponed exhibitions and events, fired museum educators, collapsing budgets, the feeling that whatever we do we can only do in the digital realm, and without asking who profits from it and the privilege of staying home. In the meantime, when some of us can lock ourselves in and some of us can’t, some governments are making dangerous decisions to consolidate their power that may change the course of the future after Covid-19. To be able to translate what Naomi Klein very recently phrased as “to kick the door of radical possibility open” into our field of contemporary art meant challenging exhibition/project making structures and working codes. To go on the ground, to start from what we know best, to produce a response, a connecting gesture in a short while, a smoke sign to tell one another “I am here, I am alive” with zero budget, no commissioning frame, no commissioning at all, no funders, no opening, no spectacle, no fly in and out, no view and preview, no VIP and no champagne, no market in the way that is usually exercised in the professional contemporary art world. The common concern we all had with the participants has been more substantial than the  “normal” codes of conduct.

Follow link for project's FB page.

kj