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An Annual Berlin Exhibition Puts Female Artists Front and Center

The Goldrausch Project, a German art institution supporting emerging woman artists, has been promoting the city’s female artistic talent for a quarter of a century.
25 Karat - Goldrausch 2015. Exhibition view (exhibition at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin). Front: Anne Kolwitz. Back: Christin Kaiser. Photo: Astrid Busch 

As boldly exposed in the 2014 Guerrila Girls campaign, “Less than 3% of the artists in the Metropolitan Museum are women, but 83% of the nudes are female.”

While the Met still has glaring issues in gender equality to address, the Goldrausch Project for Women Artists, an annual all-female exhibition, has been actively combating this problematic for 25 years.

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25 Karat - Goldrausch 2015. Exhibition view (exhibition at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin). Front: Anne Kolwitz. Back: Vidal & Groth. Photo: Astrid Busch 

This year’s exhibition, 25 Karat, is a nod to the quarter-century tradition of the project and also a reference to the position of the female artist today; one often represented with such disparity that encountering their work feels like finding a piece of gold amongst the overly-plentiful coal of the male artist.

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25 Karat - Goldrausch 2015, Exhibition view (exhibition at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin). Photo: Astrid Busch 

15 emerging female artists working in Berlin were selected by Goldrausch’s jury for this year’s iteration of the show at the Kunstquartier Bethanien, including Nike Arnold, Detel Aurand, Raluca C.E. Blidar, Juliane Henrich, Christin Kaiser, Ezgi Kılınçaslan, Anne Kollwitz, Birgit Krause, Linda Kuhn, Eva Maria Salvador, Jana Schulz, Cosima Tribukeit, Sarra Turan, Vidal & Groth, Dagmar Weiß, and Folke Köbberling. Their diversity of mediums is an important factor: photography, sculpture, drawing, video, installation, monotype, and painting all manage to be represented across the works.

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From its press release, 25 Karat seeks to “provide its participants with tools to become more visible on their own terms, without forcing this professionalization to be constricting or conforming… The long-term objective is not assimilation or adaptation to milieus traditionally closed to women, but rather an articulation of individual parameters and active participation in a nuanced art public.” The goal isn’t for the institution’s artists to further push the little space given to them by the art world, but rather to change the art world’s manner of operation to fit their own artistic aspirations.

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Despite the prolonged efforts of Goldrausch and of 25 Karat’s curators Birgit Effinger and Hannah Kruse, Berlin’s art scene (and the global scene as well) must still undergo much larger transformations if it hopes to achieve higher levels of gender equality. The majority of Berlin’s 10,000 working artists and multitude of hopeful artists emerging from the city’s two major art institutions are female, yet they are rarely given solo exhibitions at any of Berlin’s major art galleries of museums. In a field where exposure and attention often determine the success and durability of one’s career, it becomes less of an unfortunate situation and more of a deeply-institutional practice.

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This year’s iteration of Goldrausch Project for Women Artists has just ended, but to learn further about the institution’s purpose or to apply for the year long postgraduate art program offered by Goldrausch in Berlin, visit their website.


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