Fresh A.I.R. Ausstellung

Fresh A.I.R. #4
Exhibition of the Artists in Residence

deutschsprachige Version des Textes

In 2020 the Stiftung Berliner Leben once again awarded eleven scholarships to artists from various European countries. With its Fresh A.I.R. program, the foundation has been supporting artistic projects that explore current issues in urban life since 2018. However, during the application process for its fourth year, no one had any idea of what challenges the year 2020 would bring for the world and, thus, for artists as well. Fortunately, all eleven artists selected for the fourth year of Fresh A.I.R. were able to travel to Berlin. In October, they moved into the residency apartments in Berlin-Schöneberg to dedicate themselves to their artistic projects for six months.

It cannot be repeated often enough that the situation for almost everyone creating art and culture around the world has become even more precarious during the Corona pandemic. However, the spread of Covid-19 has also had other consequences for art and creativity. And the scholarship holders of the Fresh A.I.R. residencies were not exempt from these either. When they arrived in Berlin in October, they initially placed themselves in isolation for two weeks in their apartments. Instead of meeting and exchanging ideas with other artists, going to museums and galleries, or looking for partners for collaborations, they were first left on their own – not a situation in which creativity emerges just like that or new ideas develop automatically. In addition, many of the projects were directly affected by the lockdown and the restrictions on social life. Finding participants for projects was substantially more difficult and, unfortunately, sometimes simply impossible. Furthermore, it is difficult to concentrate on other themes and to pursue them with one’s usual level of drive in times when talk about viruses, mutations, the distribution of vaccines, economic consequences, etc. are dominating the public discourse. In this context, the dedication with which this year’s resident artists realized their projects is all the more admirable.

Introducing the artists of class 4 of the Fresh A.I.R. scholarships.

Like every year, the interests of the fourth year of Fresh A.I.R. artists are diverse, but they nonetheless revolve around a central theme. And this is the question of how “we,” as people, are currently positioning ourselves in relationship to the “world.” The artists interpreted and focused this broadly formulated theme in different ways. Many of this year’s Fresh A.I.R. resident artists occupy themselves with the relationship to nature or that which is considered nature. They use their art to draw attention to the climate catastrophe and sketch solutions or models for how we could deal with the increasing pollution of the environment and the garbage problem. Others ask about where “nature” can also be found in the city, for example, where it simply takes up residence in the form of plants or where it is imitated through the creation of parks and green areas. Attentiveness to materiality and particularly to organic materials also stems from this rediscovered interest in “nature” and natural materials. However, the understanding of “nature” in this context is anything but romantic; instead, traditional distinctions between nature and animal organisms, on the one hand, and culture and human organisms, on the other, are called into question and an attempt is made to counter them. Perhaps it is no coincidence that our relationship to our own body and our notion of our own “self” have also drawn attention again in this context.

People’s relationship to each other remains a constant theme—also independently of Corona. What is particularly interesting in this context is what fundamentally binds the individuals that make up a city’s population together in spite of obvious differences or how fair participation can be achieved in the city. With their projects, the artists have inserted themselves into debates about involvement and inclusion. And they get us to think about who remains excluded. In their projects, the artists almost always focus their attention on the context of the city, the so-called urban space, its segmentations, its different manifestations, but also the paths the city prescribes or makes possible.

Media play an important role in many of these establishments of relationships and opportunities for access. Film and photography often serve as an instrument of analysis used to investigate the environment and surroundings. However, drawings and sculptures are also put to use when it is about looking at Berlin differently. Thus, for example, new perspectives on residential architecture are evaluated – and also on Berlin subway stations’ system for guiding its users. Artistic methods are used to turn a stroll through the city into a visual experience that we can also imitate ourselves. Or the symbols, directions and floor plans of subway stations begin to dance and suddenly cause transit places that we use every day to appear not just unreal and placeless, but also like a fantastic labyrinth.

And so, the artistic projects of the fourth year of Fresh A.I.R. artists once again succeed in stimulating substantive thoughts and ideas or providing examples for creative and wild thinking, which is so necessary precisely in periods with such a lack of contact and events. In this context, it is of incalculable value that digitization and the Internet have now opened up the possibility of presenting the artistic works they have created in an online showcase. We had already utilized this opportunity offered by digitization last year and were able to reach a broad audience in this way.

The possibilities offered by this medial form of presentation are diverse. Thus, for example, photographs can be used to present individual phases of the artistic process. However, we do not want to deny that the medium of the Internet or the digital space has its limits. Many of the artworks created are actually conceived to be viewed and experienced in an analogue and real space. To unfold their effect, they require a physical encounter with viewers who are able to move freely within the exhibition spaces and perceive them with all their senses. However, the wealth of ideas behind the projects presented in the online showcase will surely convey itself to the imaginations of the virtual exhibition space’s visitors. We are very pleased to be able to present all of the projects here, and we hope that you, dear visitors, will greatly enjoy exploring the artistic works of our fourth year of Fresh A.I.R. artists.

Janine Arndt – Artistic Director

Fresh A.I.R. #4 Online-Showcase

Alexis Dworsky

Alexis Dworsky

In his project “Braille_Style,” the artist promotes participation and more cooperation in urban societies. With “Urbanit” he literally reveals the multi-layered nature of graffiti.

the project
Danny Vines Fresh A.I.R.

Danny Vines

Through the visual language of figurative sculptures, the artist explores the connection between somatic memory and one’s own physical past in experimental works made of bread and sugar.

the project
Felicitas Fäßler Künstlerin Fresh A.I.R.

Felicitas Fäßler

Where do the remnants of our prosperity go when they disappear from our view? “On uneven ground” deals (with a wink) with a pressing problem of our time: wild landfills on the outskirts of the city.

the project
Guilia Berra Künstlerin Porträt

Giulia Berra

Her projects explore the area of interest between urbanity and nature. Among others, Berra lets wild plants grow in Berlin Schöneberg and thereby also processes her emotions in relation to the pandemic.

the project
Marc Samper Fresh A.I.R. Porträt

Marc Samper

Samper transfers the ancient system of Japanese haiku to the video medium. His installations deliberately contradict the volume and visual overabundance of a globalized urban culture.

the project
META-colectivo (Adriana Tamargo & Guillermo Escribano)


With sculptures made of organic waste, the dichotomy of man and nature is deliberately dissolved. Their process of creation explores new forms of collaboration with unusual protagonists.

the project
Mots Diogo Ruas Jagoda Cierniak


Personal objects with a history form the starting point of this participatory project. Translated into a language that consists mainly of abstract shapes, however, these objects can function as connecting elements.

the project
Poppy French Künstlerin Fresh A.I.R.

Poppy French

As part of the project, 150 Berlin U-Bahn (subway) stations were explored as unique transit places. Their rhythms and sounds combine to form a melody and choreography familiar to those who frequent them.

the project
Valeriana Berchicci Porträt

Valeriana Berchicci

So-called city walkers document their impressions on their spontaneous route. Detailed images of the city views become paintings and sculptures. A project that invites people to recreate the experience.

the project