Realty is the name of the first thematic building block, and a framework for the collectively authored event in April 2019. It focuses on the role of Contemporary Art in recent histories of urban development and gentrification. The latter is a stark and grisly example of art’s leverage today, and finding a productive response to gentrification has evolved into something of a holy grail within the field internationally. In order to bypass the melancholia, and avoid theorizing our failures yet again, our references must go beyond the usual scope of Euro-American art and academia. To what extent can we speak of a planetary development? If the term “gentrification” implies a multiplicity of often underestimated factors, what does this mean for possible rules of engagement? In order to address these and other questions, Realty will need to take stock of legal implications as well as artist initiatives, urban regeneration policies, chronospatial mythologies, art and/as architecture, and more.
The Summer 2017 program included contributors speaking to broader possibilities of artists reclaiming their professional future and working conditions, including Philippe Bischof, Tashy Endres, Adelita Husni-Bey, Renzo Martens, Dieter Lesage, Suhail Malik, Enno Schmidt, Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E.), and Leonardo Vilchis.
The Sommerakademie Paul Klee 2018 took place from 30 July to 19 August 2018 in Bern and included public lectures and workshops with Rival Strategy (Benedict Singleton and Marta Ferreira de Sá) and Jaya Klara Brekke.The closing event in April 2019 will provide the point of departure for the subsequent SPK cycle (2019/20), featuring new residents and a new curatorial framework. Its actual format may range from the realistic to the preposterous; either way, the hope is to transcend the status of self-critical polemic, and work towards a model worth replicating.
Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. His most recent book is Traction, Sternberg Press 2016. Zolghadr is artistic director of the Sommerakademie Paul Klee in Bern and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. Curatorial work includes biennial settings as well as numerous long-term research-driven projects.