The first residency is taking place between March and May 2021 with Estonian artists Alexei Gordin and Marko Mäetamm. The residency will result as a group exhibition Survival Kit for the Art Market together with artist Kennet Lekko, focusing on the madness, beauty, senselessness and necessity of the existence of the art market.

The fact that being an artist nowadays comes with the certainty of an omnipresent struggle is already common knowledge. Capitalism and creativity are in most cases opponents and just weirdly go along with each other. How to be freely creative when the market is asking for another aesthetic? How to maintain a path of authenticity when the gallerist wants a certain topic and size of an artwork? The artist needs to juggle his/hers artistic production through this dense network of constant overlapping of necessary individualism as the medium of recognition and external expectation of the market.

After the first lockdown the scene could take a breath and everybody felt more prepared for the second wave, but nobody knows which consequences the artists and cultural landscape will be confronted with, if there is a third lockdown coming. Institutions will not engage with the planning of the upcoming years and collaborations get put on hold – a survival kit for the art market is urgently needed. But this is not a story about victims, it‘s a journey of discovering how to survive within these conditions, how to preserve one‘s own aesthetic development from being too influenced by the environment and finally to use this situation as a potential, not as an obstacle.

Berlin as a hub and European creative center is a location where the poles of high and low crash into each other, causing a wide gap between the establishment and the underground. This tension is fuel and danger at the same time, and an implosion of this system is certain. After the show in Berlin the exhibition will travel to Kogo Gallery in Tartu, which is from the beginning a part of the thematic reflection. The differences and whishes, expectations and failures of the artists regarding the European art market have their roots in Estonia and have extended from there.

This residency project is supported by diverse collaborators from Germany and Estonia: Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Embassy in Berlin, Kogo Gallery, Goethe Institute and Rebel Art Management.

Artists in residence

Alexei Gordin

Marko Mäetamm

Guest artist

Kennet Lekko