Autocenter Summer Academy

Address: Leipziger Strasse 56, 10117 Berlin
Contact: Karola Matschke
Phone: +49 (0) 30 206 32 622
Open Hours: Thu. – Sat. 4 – 7 pm


How is the project operated?
Autocenter Summer Academy (ACSA) is organized by artists Joep van Liefland and Maik Schierloh, who founded the exhibition space Autocenter 13 years ago in Berlin. ACSA is run by artists, historians, journalists, collectors, and curators. The program takes place over the month July, but is organized and presented to the public by Autocenter staff during the fall and winter months.

How long has it been in existence?
The program has been in existence for three years.

What was your motivation?
We realized there was a need for a space in which an interactive conversation between contemporary artists and students could take place. New educational formats are needed when it comes to artistic production and discourse. The character of ACSA’s workshop offers the needed openness, network, and infrastructure in the very heart of Berlin.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
It varies, but right now between our organizers and teachers we have about 25 people responsible for running ACSA.

How are programs funded?
ACSA is funded through a participation fee that we are working hard to lower with a crowd funding campaign. Last year we received governmental funding and we are constantly trying to find partners for our network, financing, exchange, and programming. We also would not be able to run without generous assistance with food and art supplies from sponsors around Berlin.

Who is responsible for the programming?
Maik Schierloh, Joep van Liefland and Karola Matschke set up the program and invite internationally renowned artists and experts from the art world to teach classes and/or give lectures. The Artists are responsible for creating their own program for each week long class. it is important to give the that freedom in order to fully delve into the topics and discourse the experts are dealing with at this very moment.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
What kind of events are usually organized?

How is your programming determined?
The program runs for four weeks and there is a weekly exhibition of ACSA work presented at Autocenter on Saturday evenings. Every week three lectures are offered to participants as well as a city art tour. The weekly presentations are open to the public. During the whole year, exhibitions and lectures are organized at Autocenter.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes. We are still very interested in receiving proposals and submissions.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Autocenter is a non-profit space run by the efforts of two artists that seeks to offer insights into today’s art beyond the structures of the art market or canonized discourses. Autocenter and ACSA aim to offer a platform for contemporary art production and discourse; this involves very well known artists as well as young artists who have not had the chance to present their work to a broader public yet.

What’s working? What’s not working?
The concept of Autocenter’s practice has been very well received for 13 years; of course, experience shows that big group exhibitions always find a larger public than solo shows by not yet known artists. But, since the program does not need to be legitimized to any sponsor, donor or patron of whatever character, we can “afford” it.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We provide a rich combination of practical and theoretical knowledge in a wonderful atmosphere and setting. The intensive discourse that takes place at ACSA is rare and we hope it will be intellectually beneficial to all participants and ultimately add to their artistic practice. The role ACSA and Autocenter is playing is already beyond local.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
To remain as free and autonomous in operating as we have in the past few years and to develop an even stronger lecture program to run the entire year in Autocenter.


Images courtesy of Autocenter. © ACSA 2013

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