Gitte Bohr – Club für Kunst und politisches Denken, founded in 2010 by Diego Castro and Eva May in Neukölln, is today a permanent guest in WestGermany on Kottbusser Tor. Our program concentrates on current political and social questions as reflected in art, and consists of exhibitions, talks, discussions, screenings, etc. Basing ourselves on the conviction that the antagonism between avant-garde and consensus-driven society must be updated, we ask how, today, art can be thought through the political and how the political can be thought through art. By maintaining these areas of conflict, we hope to create moments of fundamental democracy in the encounter with art and artists.

We often work with themes that reach beyond the fields of reference of the art world, and deal with questions, which are not only relevant for the areas of art and aesthetic experience. Likewise we investigate to what extend aesthetics and everyday life overlap.

Our events are often arranged as series dealing with specific thematic areas. Apart from the exhibitions, discussions, etc. taking place in Gitte Bohr, our own research also form a part of the work. A method that becomes explicit in, for example, the info-exhibitions we sometimes realise. In collaboration with artists, theorists, activists and people from various areas, we attempt to confront institutional standards of discourse with dialogues based on equality. In this way, we hope to inspire exchange in the place of mere reception.

One of the themes we are working with has been public space and how it is designed. How public spaces and their interface with users are changing and becoming bearers of ideology. The series Surface and Superficiality examines the conflict-ridden relationship between surfaces and their users and poses questions about how power is created and maintained through design. The series will continue in the future. Another theme was image politics. Here the instrumentality of images after the visual turn was investigated. We focused on how, also today, war and its propaganda dominate the mass media and how they themselves become a theatre of war. Another series of events asked how one can approach the discourse of an artist through a single work, as opposed to a constellation of works, which often, rather, are used to represent curatorial concepts. In the series 1 work/ 1 room/ 1 night/ we thus invited artists to present to the audience one artwork.

The German national elections in September 2013 – and the probable re-election of Angela Merkel – are for us an occasion for taking stock of 30 years of neoliberalism and concentrate on the conditions of post-democracy. This is one among other themes that the events and exhibitions of Gitte Bohr will deal with in the autumn and winter of 2013-14.

Diego Castro & Eva May, October 2013

Read the interview on bpigs.com