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De Joode & Kamutzki: a new auction house for Berlin
Two artists/curators accept the challenge to open a new, innovative auction house in Berlin, a city that is slowly looking for its sweet-spot between creative and economic value...


Published on Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Berlin might be a (some say “the”) creative world capital where art is conceived and produced in outstanding amounts, but still not an easy market for the prolific intellectual crowd that lives there. In a recent article published by the digital platform, the patriotic statistics of the latest Berlin cultural report, showing that around 50,000 new creative heads come every year to the city, are dissected and reinterpreted with economic figures, showing that the Art Utopia is still far from being located on the German map.


The employment statistics are clear: this growing Berlin-charmed population of artists, designers, architects, are very rarely making a living out of the local economy. The locals, needless to say, know it very well: research and produce in Berlin, where life is cheap, but sell in Munich, or in the big international capitals where the real money is, and is more common investing in creativity. While this distance between the money and power centers of the city and the local artistic scene might seem paradoxical from the outside, they are actually the charm of this severe - not to say dreary - looking urban reality, secretly filled with genius and originality. Lately a new generation of market aware initiatives are blossoming, with a clear intent to test, provoke, not to say educate, the city to recognize, use but especially reward its own cultural resources. The next one in the Berliners calendar is the first sale event of a new auction house that promises to make contemporary art accessible to ALL!. While the claim might sound quite populist, the catalogue is rich, qualified by the important resumes of most of the artists featured, but most of all really affordable also for the typical Berlin income. From the 25 euros of the Norwegian Anne Daniell’s plaster work Head on Stick, to the 170 euros of the 19 cm photo print by Martin Kouhout, a Czech Berlin based artist who already exhibited in important biennials and museums like the Guggenheim. Most of the pieces are really worthy further research, like Alison Malone’s (1980, Brooklyn) photographies, depicting the over-static youth of an imaginary school reserved for daughters of Freemasons. Starting price: 90 euros. 

De Joode

Or the oil on canvas by London-based Anna Hughes (1980), searching for her way between abstraction and figuration in the nocturnal The Dark Well, starting at 600 euros. With Clift’s Penis by the performance artist and actor Bastian Trost, starting at 200 euros, the auction gets a touch of transgression, showing a game between obvious and subtle. The auction sale is organized at Hackesher Markt, the heart of the central Mitte neighborhood, by two young artists who, as often happens in the cultural world, become supporters of other artists: Rachel de Joode, photographer, sculptress, installation and performance artist, and Maria Kamutzki, singer, composer, performance artist and actress. The sales will take place in different venues of the city, twice a year. In one of the most innovative cities in the world, the cultural marketing experimentation is signed by the artists themselves.

curated by marcello pisu

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