Places and hearts – #6 Ashley Berlin

Ashley Berlin is an exhibition space and residency for emerging local and international artists in Berlin, Germany, focused on fostering contemporary art dialogues between Canada and Germany within an international context. Since 2013, Ashley holds six exhibitions per year, maintaining a diverse program that works to evade set limitations of discipline, authorship, and location.

 

KubaParis
Is „home“ the place where you’ve been born?

KATE BROWN/LAURYN YOUDEN
Europe is home.

KubaParis
What do you see and feel when you look out of the window?

KATE BROWN/LAURYN YOUDEN
So many red roses! It’s a quiet courtyard – you wouldn’t really guess that Oranienstrasse is buzzing around it.

KubaParis
How would your best friend (partner/visitors, guests) describe your rooms?

KB/LY
We hear that Ashley feels welcoming and that feels like a success for us. We try to cultivate a friendly atmosphere and cut through Berlin’s tribal tendencies.

KubaParis
How do you decide what artist you exhibit?

KB/LY
We have many unrealized projects and collaborations tucked away in a Google Doc. What we end up programming is ultimately a combination of circumstance, intuition and personal interactions with artists we know or come to know. This year we set out to give a lot of space to several solo exhibitions and we sought to work with artists who engage with female narratives. We also wanted to have more intimate, community-based dialogues. Our ongoing series Studio Sundays fills that need.

Studio Sunday #4: John Holten ‘Potential Libraries: Six Propositions for an Open Discussion’

KubaParis
Your favorite art space?

KB/LY
There are a couple new spaces that are putting forward some really interesting programming in Berlin, namely Éclair, curated by Milan Ther, Mathias Toubro and Sigurd Kjeldgaard, and Multiplex, which is run by curator Ingrid Ergstad and architect Max Paul.

KubaParis
Why do we need independent art spaces?

KB/LY
Spaces that operate outside the gallery or institutional model are vital because they diversify the fabric of an art scene. They can pop up and then disappear. They can recur, relocate, or rebrand depending on a spontaneous need. They are flexible and reactive and that’s important in times of uncertainty. There are so many spaces in Berlin, but each one responds within a slightly different community.

Emma LaMorte Alcatraz, 2017. Textile, 175 x 125 cm. Her solo exhibition Kyñe Elementary is opening at Ashley Berlin on June 23, 2017

KubaParis
What does independence mean to you?

KB/LY
The privilege to be self-determining.

KubaParis
What does Ashley Berlin stand for?

KB/LY
The name itself is quite feminine, and raises the question of explicit femininity and how that is perceived in entrepreneurial endeavours of any kind. It was chosen in contrast to the more common masculine names, non-gendered use of last names, object names, or numbers and street addresses. We also looked for a name that didn’t attempt to render invisible our situation of being young female foreigners, by using an English name with a certain and loaded connotation in North America. Ashley generates a particular image of a woman.

Brillantine, Installation view, Ashley Berlin, 2014

KubaParis
Something you‘ve always wanted to say?

KB/LY
Today we are thinking about the artwork of Vincent Trasov, who dressed as Mr. Peanut and ran for mayor in Vancouver, Canada in 1974… Feels quite relevant to our world today!

Mr. Peanut outside the Vancouver Court House in 1974 credit: Bob Strazicich