Fresh A.I.R. #5
Exhibition of the Artists in Residence

deutschsprachige Version des Textes

With the Fresh A.I.R. program, the Stiftung Berliner Leben awards (Artist-In-Residence) grants to European artists who deal with socio-political and urban issues. The funding enables the scholarship recipients to absorb new inspiration during their stay and develop their artistic skills further while being integrated into Berlin’s cultural life. At the same time, the artists give Berlin residents insight into their perspectives and skills, during workshops and events. In March 2021, the eleven fellows of the fifth Fresh A.I.R. year came to Berlin from nine nations. They completed their fellowship in September 2021.

The impressive and compelling approaches of most of the fellows are characterized by the fact that they sought contact to Berliners as a starting point for their artistic work in the city. The intensity of local contact varied due to the contact restrictions in place during the pandemic. In this fifth year, for example, comics were drawn about the everyday lives of Berlin residents, or the initial exchange for participatory action began with the attachment of a QR code on benches and fences in public spaces. In this case, the outcome was open, so the approximately 100 participants ultimately determined that the topic of the work should be garbage in the streets of Berlin. Objects abandoned by Berliners in the streets, such as wheels, wood, and a fridge, were then used as source material in an expansive installation.

Introducing the artists of class 5 of the Fresh A.I.R. scholarships.

In a time when our society threatens to fall apart, people are increasingly looking for community and cohesion. Some artistic works analyzed this uncertain moment, and engaged with those who live outside the mainstream and have fewer opportunities to connect. A central point of the fifth year was, therefore, the examination of Berlin’s subcultures. In particular, people from the queer community were contacted through Facebook groups or advertisements. The resulting artistic work (video projection, installations, paintings, and workshops) are in the form of documentary, participation-activist, or fantastic-fictional. The works repeatedly dealt with how Berliners relate to their own city and what distinguishes their life here. For instance, people from the Nollendorfkiez and residents of Haselhorst, Gewobag’s oldest housing estate, were interviewed for a video installation and the creation of collages. The goal of the interviews was to amplify and visualize the voices and stories of the residents. In Schöneberg-Nord, residents’ quotes were projected onto buildings, and the portraits are also to be displayed in Haselhorst. Perhaps as a reaction to the way in which our co-existence has been limited during the pandemic, the artistic work of this year’s fellows show how the artists have come to know Berlin and the Berliners, despite all adversities.

I hope you will enjoy exploring the artistic works of our fifth-year fellows.

Janine Arndt – Artistic Director

Fresh A.I.R. #5 Online-Showcase

Rita António

As a Fresh A.I.R. #5 fellow, Rita António explores and studies Berlin through the eyes of a migrant, a traveler. In her illustrations and comics, Rita deals with the habits of Berliners and cliché images that exist about them – always with a humorous eye.

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Denis Cherim

Denis Cherim is interested in dualism and what influences people’s minds, perceptions and decision making. With his project „Your Confusion, My Illusion“ he artistically attempts to show reality as surreal and the surreal as our reality.

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Vince Donders

In his installation for Fresh A.I.R. #5, Vince Donders depicts a possible scenario of the future. In this future, the earth’s resources are exhausted and the environment has collapsed. The artist imagines what such a world would look like and how people could survive there.

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Aïda Gómez

Aïda Gómez explores the phenomenon of cigarette butts in public spaces. In her three-part installation, she approaches the unwelcome remains from different directions.

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Haselhorst, the former Reichsforschungssiedlung from the 1930s in the northwest of Berlin, is the field of the project by Lihenn. Five people who live in the housing estate Haselhorst or used to live there, were born there, live there again, give the neighborhood their face and their history.

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Joanna Simson

Joanna Simson‘s project „KIEZ LICHT“ is a curated collection of thoughts, life reflections, experiences and drawings.

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Hannah Skinner

„Queerness Through Presentation“ is a project by Hannah Skinner that explores the way LQBTQA+ people present themselves and why their external presentation is important to them.

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William St Leger

Over 6 months William St Leger has been listening to the stories of people living in Berlin, in particular about their experiences and relationship with shame.

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Antigoni Bunny Tsagkaropoulou

„PinkFullMoon“ by Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou (Bunny) combines sculptural installation with fiction-poetry, focusing on the notion of sisterhood, collective care and political resistance against systemic oppression and the heteropatriarchal regime.

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Marjolein van der Meer

„I AM SEVERAL“ by Marjolein van der Meer is an electronic music piece leading up to a contemporary dance performance, using a polyphony of voices.

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Lotte Reimann

For her research project, which is still a work in progress, Lotte Reimann delved into the lively Berlin kink scene and collaboratively sheds light on the interconnectedness of BDSM and the asexuality spectrum.

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