In-Between. Spatial Discourse in Visual Culture

An interdisciplinary exhibition series with accompanying programme by ANCB The Metropolitan Laboratory, which brings the creative, critical analysis of contemporary space into the centre of broad public discourse

Space is not just the stage set for architecture but also a fundamental condition for our understanding of the world. Our whole lives are played out in space. Knowingly or unknowingly we are surrounded, influenced and formed by the spaces of our daily lives, which can be understood as repositories of our historical positions and testimonies of the most different times and cultural structures. Space is at the same time inside and outside, individual and personal, collective and social, formal and informal, political and cultural, architectural and artistic. Therefore space can only be understood by means of the symbiotic compilation of these varied characteristics. The analysis of space is then much more than merely an analysis of all three-dimensional objects in relation to each other and to the perceived subject in Euclidean space.

Space as the subject of serious discussions opens a horizon of meaning, which must necessarily extend far over the borders and possibilities of a single discipline. Consequently, the starting point for this discourse is an interdisciplinary engagement with numerous experimental examples of creative positions from the visual arts concerned with critiquing and creating space. These will be explored in the exhibition series, providing an overall view of space in its various contexts in which to continually reflect on it as an action-oriented and knowledge-based model. As well as works from the fields of photography, illustration, painting, sculpture and architecture, the cognitive value of spatial images and spatial design will be traced. The widely varying layers of meaning of space across established practices will be cleared away and considered afresh in more detail in order to respond to the collective social questions embedded within them. From the interaction between artistic inputs and expansive discussions on space, the series discovers its own impetus and at the same time consciously supports a dialogue between the disciplines.

Particular attention is paid to the interdisciplinary analysis of the stimulating interaction and oscillations between theoretical as well as practical disciplines. A wide variety of subjects will be critically examined, such as the construction of space in politics and in the media, the continuing influence of new technical and narrative achievements on perception and the self-conception of space, spectacular utopian visions of space from the past and present, as well as the wide appeal and efficacy of socially-oriented spatial tactics in the built environment.

The artistic research interest of the In-Between exhibition series is primarily topological in nature. Through debates dedicated to the intensive engagement with space, it is hoped that new and fascinating spatial worlds can be discovered. Casting a critical, analytical eye over current artistic ‘spatial positions’, they are understood not just as aesthetic manifestations but rather much more as meaningful systems.

Following a phenomenological, anthropological approach, which asserts that human being consists in dwelling, it is the concern of the exhibition series to strengthen space as the central category in media and cultural theory discussions. To capture the poetic quality of space - be it fictional or real – beyond its metric limits, it is important to explore those meanings that are hidden or do not immediately reveal themselves on first glance.

In conclusion, the exhibition series aims to return the critical and creative discussion on contemporary space to the centre of broad public discourse. Against a backdrop of the numerous challenges presented to us by the new ‘urban’ millennium, this is not only urgently necessary but absolutely inevitable.

Lukas Feireiss


ANCB Partners 2020

© ANCB, Berlin