Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) is a site of contemporary art and discourse production. The institution was founded in 1969, with the goal of presenting contemporary fine art to a broader public, and of inviting that public to actively participate in cultural processes.
For over 50 years, n.b.k. has served as a laboratory for aesthetic experiences and for addressing socially relevant issues at the juncture of art, discourse, and the public. Two collections that are singular in Germany also contribute to this role. In 1970, n.b.k. founded an “Artothek,” one of Germany’s first, which allows art enthusiasts to borrow works of 20th- and 21st-century international art for a small insurance fee. The Artothek mobil program creates exhibitions for public institutions, schools, and other locations. In a special display system (Ellen, 1998), designed by artist Silke Wagner, n.b.k. presents the Artothek collection in different configurations, with changing thematic emphases. With the second collection, Video-Forum, n.b.k. makes available to the public over 1,700 international works of video art. Since the founding of the collection, in 1971, it has been expanded constantly through co-productions and yearly purchases. The holdings of the Video-Forum can be watched in a dedicated space. Presentations and screenings based on the collection introduce current and historical developments in video art to the public and generate discussion around them. Both collections – Artothek and Video-Forum – are open to the general public, offering space for experimental arts education and cultural education.
n.b.k. and its partners aim to promote developments in contemporary art and to underline their social importance. With its support for the production of ambitious new artwork, carefully curated exhibitions, an extensive discourse program, and publications ranging from artist monographs to texts of art history and art theory, n.b.k. contributes in many ways to contemporary art discourse. Together with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, n.b.k. publishes the book series n.b.k. Exhibitions, n.b.k. Discourse, and n.b.k. Berlin, focusing on artists and their projects at n.b.k., current approaches in art theory and art education, and Berlin’s art scene, respectively. The DVD series n.b.k. Concert documents music and discourse-program events as well as performances at the institution. With its exhibition and discourse program, n.b.k. understands itself as a platform for the art scene in Berlin. n.b.k.’s residency program provides a studio-apartment at the renovated Gartenstadt Atlantic housing complex in Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, offering international fellows and collaborators the opportunity to research and develop projects in Berlin.
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) gGmbH is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Community.