For some gallerist’s artists Marie Karlberg and Lena Henke have invited 20 fellow artists who run their own exhibition spaces or galleries to take part in the show. M/L Artspace is housed by The Duck and offers its space to other artists. “We do the shows we want to see.” It is not about putting on an encyclopedic show about current art spaces, but about exhibiting artists with whom M and L are in touch themselves – about their network. Some gallerist's is probably not an exhibition at all – it is an experimental arrangement – a social experiment. It is about the opening – we get to see some gallerist’s. They are artists too and M/L are delighted to present their new works.

The exposé for this exhibition is a minefield. The moaning and groaning about the infinite number of artist-run spaces in this city – Berlin – an evergreen. Setting up art spaces is considered the easiest avenue to discursive and economic success. The hype economy – it’s a matter of subcultural spots where art kids meet and generate value and meaning. Artist-run spaces are places crisscrossed by outside interests and power – they are start-ups, generic in conception and inflationary. M and L nastily imply that. It’s some: an indeterminate mass of cultural actors.

On the other hand: great artists organize shows, are caught up in an ongoing role reversal, operating in several social modes – as gallerists/organizers, they are regular and ever-available socialites; as artists they are mysterious figures, beholden to the other. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dealer – although in the morass of the creative class, it is somehow still as with Copley: artist-run spaces are places of utopia, of the anti-canon, of an independently formulated symbolic realm. A refuge, a protective cell, where the institutional narrative about art & life is ruptured, supplemented and rewritten. There is something tribal about them. It is the place where a new form of cultural production is devised – to put it effusively: the place of a new conception of art.

And at the same time it is the paradigmatic model in recent decades for a successful artistic career. It is the place where scripts for history are written. Where something new emerged beyond the dominant cultural configuration, initially for a handful of people, followed soon afterwards by its institutionalization/vulgarization. Spaces like these are, on the one hand, an essential part of the mechanistically run art business, and yet there is something about this format – even though we are post-history, even though we know that the outside can’t go outside, we cling to the model of cultural succession by formulating anti-spaces – to these exciting micro-economies, which run at the same time in sync with and diachronically to the big ones.

–Arthur Fink


Mathis Altmann, New Jerseyy, Basel
Tomoo Arakawa, Green Tea Gallery, Fukushima
Bosko Blagojevic, Svetlana Gallery, New York
Max Brand , The Duck, Berlin
Oscar Carlson, Issues, Stockholm
Whitney Claflin, Groug Floor Theater, New York
Liz Craft, Paradise Garage, Los Angeles
Gina Folly, Taylor Macklin, Zurich
Lena Henke, M/L Artspace, New York
Calla Henkel, New Theater, Berlin
Marie Karlberg, M/L Artspace, New York
Bradford Kessler, Kunsthalle Witchita, Kansas
Veit Laurent Kurz, The Duck, Berlin
Bjarne Melgaard, Rod Blanco, Oslo
Pentti Monkkonen, Paradise Garage, Los Angeles
Sophie Morner, Company Gallery, New York
Georgie Nettell, Penarth Centre, London
Max Pitegoff, New Theater, Berlin
Ramaya Tegegne, Forde, Geneva
Anina Troesch, New Jerseyy, Basel
Melanie Veuillet, Marbries4, Geneva