ARTS CLUB BERLIN: a project of VBK

The Verein Berliner Künstler (VBK), founded in 1841 is the oldest artists association and one of the most long-standing institutions of its kind in Germany. 2012 the association initiated the ARTS CLUB BERLIN. Taking into account the changed conditions of artistic practice today, the Arts Club seeks active cooperation with cultural producers and institutions from different contexts. Situated in the premises of the historic urban villa at Schöneberger Ufer 57 in Berlin Tiergarten-Mitte, the VBK serves as a discursive platform for local and international artists and cultural producers.

The VBK is an association managed by artists dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art, to fostering international and intergenerational exchange and to investigating the social role of art and the conditions of its production. The association has provided an open space for critical discussion, exchange and the presentation of different forms of artistic practice for more than 170 years. The fact that the VBK is artist-run is key to it providing a space in which cultural producers can actively participate and develop own projects. To preserve and further develop this open space for action is a major concern of the association.

The VBK gallery presents alternating exhibitions and projects both by its members and by invited artists. In the frame of artists exchange programmes, international artists have the opportunity to present their work in the context of Berlin’s art scene and to establish crucial contacts with curators and cultural producers  based in Berlin. Seeking to expand artist-run practice and mutual exchange, the VBK launched ARTS CLUB BERLIN in October 2012, the first artist run club in the city. Conceived as an informal forum for discussion and debate, the club is committed to critically reflecting on current tendencies in artistic production. Artists, curators and scientists investigate theses issues from a variety of differing perspectives in the public discourse programme of the Arts Club.

Through active participation in the cultural life of Berlin on the one hand and through cooperation with international institutions and artists organisations on the other, the VBK is an association which is located at the intersection of local and global discourses. The VBK thus actively advances the networks between international and artists based in Berlin.