The annual theme A Private City is designed to focus with greater precision on the idea of the public and private. These terms are mutually interdependent, yet their margins remain perpetually indistinct, never becoming fixed or static.

All of us are aware of the transformations affecting cities, including the loss of urbanity and tendencies toward globalization. The character of public space is undergoing constant change, while private realms are becoming more differentiated spatially.

In times past, the city air offered a sense of freedom, and it continues to exercise a strong attractive force. Increasingly, spaces of autonomous action in the spirit of Hannah Arendt’s “vita active,” temporary spaces of possibility and transitional spaces are disappearing, are being deprived of their significance within municipal politics and culture. The reappropriation of such forms of action, of community spirit in opposition to the expansion of the economy within public space and the dominance of mass society resembles an act of liberation.

In this series of exhibitions, invited protagonists will interrogate, fathom, and redefine the relationship between public and private.

The collaborateurs in 2016 A Private City series will be: Aachen University of Applied Sciences (DE), Timur Celik (Berlin | TR), Suet Yi Chan (Berlin | HK), Platforms project @ Art Athina 2016 with Marian Wjnvoord (Berlin | NL), Ekkehart Keintzel (Berlin | AT), Irina Kurtishvili (Berlin | GE), Standard Euro (Berlin), Living Room Project Berlin IV with Marian Wjnvoord (Berlin | NL), Judith Saupper (AT)