»Spitzmauer abends« by Benjamin Vogel


»I‘m not yours – Places that belong to nobody«

This call looks at current or ancient debates on politics, geographics, economics, society and culture, how we define places and spaces in a realistic, fictive, utopic or distopic way.

Thanks for numerous applications from all over the globe!

We will get back to each applicant until middle of August 2016.
Application deadline was: 1st of July 2016

Concept and planning of the exhibition

“There are towns, settlements, planets and universes that could not be found on any map nor anywhere in the heavens because they do not belong to any space. They have emerged in the minds of people or in the interstices of the utopias that every human group occupies.”[1]

Michel Foucault assumes that there are spaces that reflect social conditions in a special way by representing, negating or reverse them.
So “real places are effective places that are drawn up in the foundation of society, as it were, counter-placements, counter spaces or abutments, actually realized utopias in which the real places are simultaneously represented within the culture, are contested and inverted,”[2] such as gardens, forests, brothels or cemeteries.

These “other spaces,” intermediate and counter spaces, utopias put to the test socially, geographically and culturally predefined spaces, by creating an illusion, which exposes all the rest of reality as an illusion.[3] They create a real space – in contrast to the tangled mess of our space – that offers a perfectly balanced order. The question thus arises, e.g. whether the legitimacy of state and national borders is valid.

Furthermore, the body belongs to this utopia, since the idea of an oversized body that devours space and dominates the world through its mortal existence is reduced to absurdity.

According to current theories of space, the creation of spaces is analyzed by social action just as much as the dependence of the action of spatial structures. The focus is on the difference between places and their mutual influences. This also applies to the micro-spaces of everyday life as well as for the nation-state or global macro-spaces. Policy approaches and ownership claims of places and their social interactions with people – such as the global Occupy movement since 2011 or gentrification in cities – are also of concern here.

The focus is drawn to the “placing and spacing”[4] of living beings and social goods and how space is produced in perception, memory or imagination processes is examined and manifests itself as a social structure. Spaces are therefore the result of interactions. At the same time, spaces structure actions, that is, they can both limit and permit actions. In this way, objects in the room determine, in the broadest sense, our inner interpretation of the world and the laws of our own actions and thus our identity.[5]

The exhibition “I’m not yours – Places that belong to nobody” deals specifically with these thematic clusters, which can serve a wide range of political, geographical, economic, socio-cultural approaches and raises the question of which property claims we are entitled to. Through various artistic works in the form of painting, graphics, photography, digital art and performance, this question should be reflected and possible plot choreographies are played out.

The applications or portfolios of artists for this exhibition can be uploaded until April 1, 2016, whereupon the artist will be informed shortly thereafter about their applications.
The Berlin Istanbul Quartier shall bear the costs of any insurances, customs clearance or shipping costs.

The exhibition opening will coincide with the opening of the Berlin Istanbul Quartier gallery in May 2016 in Istanbul.


[1] Michel Foucault: Die Heterotopien. Zwei Radiovorträge. Berlin: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 2005.

[2] Michel Foucault: Die Heterotopien. Zwei Radiovorträge. Berlin: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 2005.

[3] Michel Foucault: Andere Räume. In: Martin Wentz (Hrsg.): Stadt-Räume. Frankfurt a. M./New York 1991.

[4] Martina Löw: Raumsoziologie. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft 2001.

[5] Martina Löw; Berking, Helmuth: Die Eigenlogik der Städte. Neue Wege für die Stadtforschung. Reihe „Interdisziplinäre Stadtforschung“, Frankfurt am Main: Campus 2008.