Herta Müller: Speech at the Uferhallen

From 07/10/2022

Online Program
In German

On the occasion of the opening of Berlin Art Week 2022 in the Uferhallen, Herta Müller gave a speech on September 13, 2022, which is documented here.

Herta Müller, 13. September 2022

Along with Rosa Barba, Maria Eichhorn, and Karin Sander, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature is one of the artists who, at the invitation of n.b.k. and in cooperation with On Equal Terms of Uferhallen e. V. and Berlin Art Week, has developed site-specific works for the entrance gates of the Uferhallen. The works are on view until further notice.

As early as 2020, Herta Müller presented her collage Die große Melancholie ... on the façade of the n.b.k. – since 1989, in addition to her literary works, Müller has created artistic visual texts, for which she cuts out and mounts words and small visual elements from various print materials, such as newspapers, illustrated magazines, and brochures. For the project Die Tore (The Gates), she created two new collages titled Fabrikhof I and Fabrikhof II, which can be seen at the central exhibition hall of the Uferhallen.

Herta Müller, Fabrikhof I, Fabrikhof II, 2022

The Uferhallen – an old industrial area and former site of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe public transport company in Berlin-Wedding – was sold by the state of Berlin to a small group of private investors, the UferHallen AG. In 2011, UferHallen AG launched a unique project, inviting over 100 artists to design each 25 shares as artworks, to be sold as Kunstaktien (art shares). Over 3,000 Kunstaktien were created. These original works of art also served to secure a stake in the 38,000-square-meter site. The aim was to achieve the broadest possible distribution of shares to ensure the long-term existence of Uferhallen as a cultural venue. In 2017, a group of investors led by the Samwer brothers became majority shareholders of UferHallen AG and decided to acquire the remaining free shares via a squeeze-out procedure in 2021. Despite this development, the Kunstaktien played a decisive role in upholding the negotiations between the new owners, the district, and the Senate to preserve Uferhallen as a location for cultural events and artist studios.