Home Magazine MeetMe#17 | In conversation with Heinrich Carstens and Kristian Jarmuschek

It is not very usual to visit an art fair within a hangar of a former airport, yet this is exactly the case with the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair. It is quite logical when you really think about it, however, because this site has long been a symbol of freedom and a place of cultural exchange. And so, on the grounds of the former Tempelhof, Europe’s largest architectural monument, there will soon be 70 international galleries ready to present quality modern and contemporary art, just in time for the Berlin Art Week.  

Taking place from September 12 through 15, the POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair will be occupying Hangar 4 in all its capacity, offering exhibitions and other programs. While inside one can find the standard fair layout of gallery booths, among which those from Germany, but also Switzerland, Poland, USA, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy and Spain, outside there will be a specially curated sculpture park. Under the title “OUTDOOR POSITIONS”, the exhibition will present large-scale artworks. Another exciting section is “Academy POSITIONS”, which will put on display selected works by German and Polish art academies graduates. Young collections in particular will have the chance to explore “SELECTED POSITIONS”, a curated exhibition of artworks no bigger than 50 x 50 cm and priced at no more than 1900 euros. For those who would like to enjoy the accompanying program, organized by POSITIONS in collaborations with Berlin Hyp, there will be an array of performances, talks and book presentations. We are highlighting the solo show of the Hyp Prize 2019 winner Lukas Glinkowski (in Budapester Straße), a talk of writer and critic Drew Hammond and artist Lorenzo Puglisi on the “ruins of painting”, as well as fair directors’ talk on September 14.

Also not to be missed are two special projects: “CENTURY. idee bauhaus 100 Perspektiven zu 100 Jahre Bauhaus”, for which 100 international artists contributed works, and the presentation by Galerie Eigenheim in collaboration with Bauhaus Universität Weimar.


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What more can we expect from POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2019? Find out from its directors, Heinrich Carstens and Kristian Jarmuschek!


Heinrich Carstens and Kristian Jarmuschek


Where did the idea of setting up an art fair at a former airport come to be? What does this kind of space provide for POSITIONS’ format and exhibitors?

The former Tempelhof airport with its hangars is a fascinating place. As a venue, the monumental architecture is a great challenge, but it also offers many possibilities. Art can be presented more generously here than in any exhibition hall or classic white cube. The special charm of the aircraft hangar makes the art act and shine.With our design we want to transfer the lucidity of the column-free room to the experience of the fair. Clarity and openness characterize the rhythm of the booths. Although monumental, the place does not distract from the art. And as a former airport, it is a place of connections. That makes it a perfect match for an art fair after all.

How would you describe POSITIONS’ position within the Berlin Art Week, and Berlin’s splendid and strong art scene at large? How do you differentiate yourselves from other fairs?

Berlin Art Week is the umbrella brand that perfectly portrays Berlin as an art location in all its diversity and distinctiveness by bringing together all the actors and their special events. Compared to other art locations, Berlin still has a very young art market. In its current form, it has only existed for less than 30 years. We think a lot about what benefits the galleries, the collectors, the artists and we organize our events around this question. In selecting the galleries, we concentrate on the relevance and connections of the artistic positions shown. These don't always have to be the big names. And we attach great importance to a very personal mediation and examination of the artistic positions shown. With an extensive program of guided tours, we present the galleries and artists and their works to collectors and curators and thus bring all participants into conversation with each other. The good turnover at our fair in recent years shows that this concept of getting to know each other and communicating is a success for all participants.

What would be your advice to young collectors wishing to start/expand their collection at POSITIONS, specifically in regards to the “Selected POSITIONS” program? Why is it important for a fair like yours to feature a section like this one?

As already mentioned, Berlin still has a relatively young art market. But with every year there are more people living in Berlin who are interested in living with art and collecting art. For these art enthusiasts, we have two offers at POSITIONS. As part of Academy POSITIONS, we are presenting 16 graduates from 13 German and Polish art academies and thus offering a small insight into current trends in art production. This makes it an ideal time for young collectors and galleries to discover the artists of their generation. For those who want to start or expand their collection, we have compiled a selection of particularly recommendable artists curated by us in the Selected POSITIONS section. All artworks have a maximum size of 50x50 cm and cost no more than 1.900 Euro. So if you want to compare and do nothing wrong, you can start collecting or expand your collection here. Or ask anyone from our team. They all have their preferences and are happy to present them.

Image: POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2018 © Clara Wenzel-Theiler


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