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"A Great Start" The Press on the First Exhibition at the KunstHalle
"No Longer a British invasion But a Local Institution" - The Press on the Second Edition of Frieze New York
"Picasso, That's Me" - The Press on MACHT KUNST


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“Picasso, That’s Me”
The Press on MACHT KUNST

It was one of the most extraordinary art actions ever to take place in Berlin. Under the slogan MACHT KUNST (Make Art), Deutsche Bank invited artists and art enthusiasts from the capital to present their works in the new Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. It was a smashing success. In order to present all of the 2,135 works submitted, Deutsche Bank organized two exhibitions, the first on April 8 and 9 in Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, and at short notice a second exhibition on April 28 and 29 in the Alte Münze on Gallery Weekend. The press response to MACHT KUNST was just as overwhelming as the artist and audience response.

The most important Berlin-based daily newspapers devoted several articles to the action, and many national papers also reported on MACHT KUNST. The television coverage was also extensive. In addition to Kulturzeit (3SAT), camera teams from the news programs of ntv and Deutsche Welle were on hand. RBB broadcast live several times from the exhibitions in the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle and the Alte Münze and additionally produced a 30-minute-long program accompanying some of the participating artists. Even ARD’s popular Tagesthemen news program provided a comprehensive report on the event. In addition, international media ranging from the British Guardian newspaper to the Mexican daily El Informador presented MACHT KUNST to their readers.

Berliner Zeitung called the art action an “incredible success,” while the Berliner Morgenpost wrote that “the response exceeded all expectations.” Tagesspiegel wrote: “A coup without a doubt. Crowds inside, a line outside, deep into the night, as though Picasso’s long-missing early work was being shown.” Süddeutsche Zeitung devoted a long article to the “extraordinary event,” while Focus spoke of a “charming concept.” Die Zeit had this to say: “To advertise their new Berlin KunstHalle on the government boulevard Unter den Linden, Deutsche Bank’s art department came up with a remarkable idea.” But the weekly newspaper was also critical: the event showed “that today even excellently trained, technically and academically accomplished artists feel compelled to take part” in a “24 hour marathon exhibition.”  

The Berliner Morgenpost had a different take: “A coup whose success not only bowled over all of the people responsible in Deutsche Bank’s art department. (…) This action can be denigrated as being populist; the value, aspirations, and quality of art in the capital can be debated; and one can even launch into a diatribe about the state of the young art scene that reacted to this ‘call’ so promptly. Apparently a forum is missing, an institutionalized platform, as most of the works were by professionals.” The Berliner Zeitung also attributed the success of the action to the unsatisfactory situation of the local artist scene: “The long lines spoke volumes about the masses of art being produced in Berlin and at the same time about the lack of exhibition possibilities for all of these artists.”

Whether professional or amateur – MACHT KUNST invited all artists to present their works. The Frankfurter Rundschau praised this “democratic offer.” Deutschland Radio Kultur spoke of a “down-to-earth art event,” and Tagesspiegel summed up the concept of the action thusly: “Picasso, that’s me.” Bild chose the headline “Art Frenzy on Unter den Linden!” while the blog Art Parasites enthused about a “refreshing mix of artists.” Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: “Aesthetically questionable, but extremely interesting from a sociologically point of view, and on top of that a lot of fun for many visitors and participants.

“The mood is boisterous,” wrote the Berliner Morgenpost: “MACHT KUNST is a great event that can be felt everywhere here. Art should be fun. In the evening there is music, and admission is free.” taz reported: “At one in the morning there is still high life in the KunstHalle,” while Monopol wrote that the mood was even good while the artists were standing together in line. “Apart from the sheer masses of people, the warmth and cordiality in Berlin, which can be so callous, were impressive.” In a second article, Monopol editor Daniel Völzke wrote about his “self experiment” as an artist. He participated with a “dirty readymade” – a postcard he found containing the inscription “You are valuable.” This is an apt motto for an action that reminded the Berliner Morgenpost of Joseph Beuys’ legendary statement “everyone is an artist” and of Andy Warhol’s15 minutes of fame.” MACHT KUNST “brought together two of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century. Beuys and Warhol, a transcontinental friendship of modern artists. Although Beuys and Warhol weren’t really friends, Deutsche Bank managed to bring the two visionaries more closely together.”

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