“You are an Art Factor”

Organized by artists Kunstfaktor e.V. is an exhibition forum and experimental ground that does not impose any restrictions on the concept of art of the individual. It is organized as an incorporated non-profit association.

KUNSTFAKTOR was founded in 1997 by Frank Benno Junghanns, Gerard Dekker und René de Rooze as an artists’ cooperative gallery associated with their studio house in Berlin Mitte. From 1998 on, it was extended to a “moderated” showroom by Junghanns, as soon more and more artists showed interest in a self-governed exhibition forum.

From 1997 to 2006 KUNSTFAKTOR ran two large buildings in Berlin Mitte that accommodated both exhibition spaces and studios. At present shows are hosted project-related in temporarily rented locations.

Kunstfaktor e.V. is financed by membership fees, private donations, a lot of individual volunteer work and public funding. The inexpensive temporary use of spaces provides for continuation. In 2010 the association is planning to rent a permanent location again in the center of Berlin and is in talk with various sponsors.

Currently we have 8 active and 162 passive members. The active members (all artists) are: Frank Benno Junghanns (management), Dana Widawski, Jörg Hasheider, Thomas von Arx, Thomas Dzieran, Gerard Janssen, Stefan Kreide, Regula Zink.

Up to now, during over 50 exhibitions more than 100 artists showed their work. Mostly artists that are not established in the art market were given the possibility to experiment and to show their work. The shows comprehend all genres of contemporary fine arts with a focus on installation, spatial concepts, painting, photography and video.

In addition to themed exhibitions like the video festival “veni · vidi · video” (2000), “Toteninsel” (2005: 30 artists interpret Arnold Böcklin’s famous painting “The isle of the Dead”) or “Abseits” (2008: football-related art dealing with the subject “offside”), since 2001 – the year when Jörg Hasheider (www.transformator-plus.com) strengthened our team – major exhibitions take place in public space as well.

Besides the “Landfraktale 2001”, that appropriated rural area, in 2003 and 2004 the project “Kunstfaktor Zossen” was implemented in the public space of Zossen. In 2005, an artistic adaptation of abandoned farms and barns took place in Schlierbach (Northern Hesse): “Kein Ende der Geschichte – Dörfer im Wandel” [The History doesn’t End – Villages in Flux].

A particular criterion for the choice of place is the complete ab­­sence or the weak development of the local cultural infrastructure. Here, the aim is not to add another event to an already rich cultural scene, e.g. that of Berlin, but to gently awaken interest in the benefits of cultural commitment.

Also cultural work with the young came in focus of our work, respecting the important role that creativity has concerning the aspect of learning.

With the Free Museum Berlin we have found a competent partner that has – within very short period – attracted both the public’s and the press’s attention by outstanding exhibitions. Our cooperation in 2010 for the project “To–Be” complements the efforts of the comparatively small ­KUNSTFAKTOR e.V. with a large exhibition space (>600 sqm) a well-known name and a well-appointed public relations work. Also it will combine our distribution lists and press contacts.

We expect “To–Be/Be–To” to get the most successful of our projects ever. It will boost not only the organizers and patrons/ sponsors reputation but also in particular the awareness level of the artists. It will also direct the audience’s mind on the possibilities of a cultural exchange between Japan and Germany – especially with regard to 2011, when the series shall be continued with two parallel exhibitions in Berlin and Tokyo, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the “Friendship, Trading and Shipping Contract between Prussia and Japan”.

  • January 2010