An accessible residency program for artists with and without disabilities.
UNBOUND is Germany’s first flexible and accessible residency and exhibition program for artists with and without disabilities working in various disciplines. A flexible and accessible residency means that artists are supported financially and creatively and can carry out the residency in a location, at a pace and to a scale that suits them best.
The first edition of UNBOUND ran from October 2022 to July 2023 and was funded by the Senate Department for the Interior and Sport in connection with the Special Olympics, which took place in Berlin in June 2023. The project was a pilot project that we hope will become an integral part of Berlin’s cultural landscape. At the end of 2023, we will create a handbook to document our experiences and the feedback from the participating artists.
Six artists took part in the residency and each received a grant to create a new work on the theme of “connection”. They took part in a series of creative workshops together and received personal mentoring before presenting their work in a final exhibition at CLB Berlin during the Special Olympics in June 2023.
Our Artists in Residence
Heike Bollig is a Berlin-based visual artist and art educator. After an apprenticeship as a wood sculptor at the Berufsfachschule für Schreinerei und Holzbildhauerei in Berchtesgaden, Bollig studied sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and media art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe from 1997 to 2004. Bollig’s artistic work includes various long-term projects in which she deals with everyday culture, parallel economies, and the question of what influence context has on the perception of art. She gained international attention with the long-term project Errors in Production, which is dedicated to errors in industrial production.
Credit: Stange und Spirale (Plakat), 2012, 59,4 x 84 cm, Exhibition view „Amateurism“, Heidelberger Kunstverein 2004.
Catherine Rose Evans is a Berlin-based Australian artist and writer who works across photography, sculpture, installation and text. Her work focuses on geologic time and where this intersects with our own human timescales: as found in our bodies, their materiality and our lived-histories as they unfold against geophysical forces. Initially trained in science, and then photography, her work is characterised by a material intimacy that subverts the utility of everyday materials such as rocks and carpet to give unexpected shifts in our perception of light, weight, scale and balance. After completing her studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, Naarm/Melbourne, she was recipient of a VCA Graduate Mentorship (2013) and Georges Mora Fellowship (2017). She has exhibited widely, most recently her work Standing Stone won first prize in the 2020 Neuköllner Kunstpreis, Berlin. In 2022 she will be an artist in residence at MASSMoCA, Massachusetts US.
Credit: Piotr Pietrus
Rita Mazza is a deaf queer freelance artist, actress, visual sign performer and dancer. She received several awards for her lead role of Sarah in God’s Forgotten Children with Theater Artisti Associati Company in Italy. Additionally, Rita Mazza also serves as the artistic director of Festival del Silenzio, an international performing arts event focused on sign language and deaf arts. She speaks Italian Sign Language fluently as well as German, French and International Sign. Since 2010 Rita Mazza has lived in Berlin and is currently working as an artistic director and performer on visual sign performances in Berlin. She has a longstanding collaboration with Making A Difference.
Credit: Dandelion II, Sophiensaele, January 2022 (credit: Mayra Wallraff)
Born in 1979 in Stendal Dennis Meier is a Berlin based visual artist working across a variety of media including painting, wall drawings and installations and site specific works in public space. He has exhibited in both Germany and France in such recent shows as Slumber, Frontviews Berlin; Man ist nicht behindert, man wird behindert, oqbo – Raum für Bild, Wort und Ton, Appartement, Berlin; Manic 3, Maniac Episode 3, Künstlerhaus Dosenfabrik, Hamburg; retraho, betahaus, Berlin; and Painting and the like, Paris CONCRET, Paris.
Credit: Dennis Meier
With his collages and sculptural assemblages, the Berlin artist Macks Querfeldt creates a universe of his own – he uses everyday found materials (newspaper clippings, packaging, pieces of wood, flyers with lettering and pictures), in order to lure out meaningful and meaningless levels of association through adaptations such as overpainting and gluing over in the Dada tradition, which can be quite subversive. Macks Querfeldt has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Germany and has exhibited work in a solo exhibition at Galerie Art Cru in 2020: “Launch-Na klar”.
Credit: Macks Querfeldt
Asako Shiroki was born in Japan in 1979. “Through the forms of fragments of furniture and architecture such as a chair, table, lattice or wooden frame, my works provoke physical memories of forms and evoke the viewer’s individual memories. At the same time, while forms consistently remain as fragments, imagined function is suspended, floating around without a destination and blurring the outline of these memories. As you follow the blurred memories beyond the haze, it feels as if you have stepped into a different place, as you become more sensitive to sound, scent, resistance of the air, and colors that you have never been aware of. In this moment, you are likely looking on happenings with a bird’s-eye view more on ‘your’ side, as the amount of buoyancy slightly exceeds that of gravity.”
Credit: Dale Grant
About the Exhibition:
The Space Between
June 10-July 16, 2023
What does connection mean and what does connection require? How are we all connected as humans, how do we connect with the non-human world around us and what happens when we lose that connection? The Space Between brings together the work of six artists who attempt to answer these questions. The exhibition was the result of UNBOUND, and based on the central concept of the Games themselves: connection. The basic idea of the Games is to bring athletes with learning disabilities together on the basis of their individual sporting talents and at the same time to unite them as a team of participants. This solidarity is necessary to win medals, just as solidarity between disabled and non-disabled people is necessary to resist everyday ableism.
Our six artists were diverse in terms of gender, disability, age and ethnicity and created work in a variety of formats including painting, sculpture, photography, sound, performance, installation and poetry. Each of them created a new work that explored the theme of “connection” from their own unique perspective.
Mack’s Querfeldt’s multimedia collages explored how we are all connected to war, such as through the current conflict in Ukraine and its impact on supply and demand chains, as well as the need to show solidarity with others in order to survive. Similarly, Heike Bollig’s socially engaged practice explores the role of mutual connection through the human processes of healing and repair. Catherine Rose Evans, on the other hand, explores the science of connection by examining gravity and tension through the manipulation of everyday found objects. Finally, how we are connected through language and communication is explored by Rita Mazza with a visual sign performance, Dennis Meier with a poetic wall drawing with Braille text and Asako Shiroki with her sculptural installations that explore perception by acting as translators between humans and the natural word.
Saturday 10th June
With an official opening speech by Staatssekretärin for Sport Dr. Nicola Böcker-Giannini, we celebrated our opening with drinks and music from DJ Bertolt Meyer.
Access as Engine
Wed. June 21
In English, German and German Sign Language.
At this interactive discursive event, Kate and Kirstin from Berlinklusion explored the creative potential of accessibility in art and design the future of Berlin’s art scene together with Nina Wiedemeyer (Bauhaus Archive) and UNBOUND residency artists Dennis Meier and Andreas Krüger (Berlinische Galerie).
Tactile Exhibition Tours
every Friday throughout the exhibition
This 1.5-hour tour of the exhibition led by Kirstin Broussard and Kate Brehme, used tactile models and materials as well as rich visual descriptions of the visual elements of the artworks to stimulate the senses. The tours were open to all visitors, with priority given to people with visual impairments.
Sunday July 16
This free and relaxed event marked the end of the exhibition and presented a final opportunity to meet the artists and curators over coffee and cake. As part of the Finissage we ran a Drop-in Workshop for families at our interactive table and a curator’s tour with Kirstin and Kate in English (with DGS interpretation).
Curation: Kate Brehme and Kirstin Broussard from Berlinklusion
Production assistance: Oona Burless
Graphic design: f450design.org
Photography: Jürgen Scheer
UNBOUND was funded by the Senate Department for Sport and Home Affairs and was part of the 2023 Special Olympics Cultural Program.
und wird von den folgenden Partnern unterstützt
With thanks to our cultural partner:
Project image credit: From the “Seed Project” by Kirstin Naomie Broussard
Photos: Jürgen Scheer