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Young art at the Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞: everything remains different

What is special about young art? Young art can be spontaneous and direct, raw, boisterous, and ironic. And it develops its creativity in many different directions – as is the case at the Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞ in Berlin.

“People come together here who might feel out of place in a traditional gallery.”

Olafur Eliasson

The Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞, set to take place September 14-17 at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, is to stage an exciting encounter between emerging artists of the international scene and Olafur Eliasson.

As the founder of the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), Olafur Eliasson began the experiment of rethinking art education. Here, as part of his professorship at the Berlin University of the Arts from 2009 to 2014, his paths crossed with around a hundred highly gifted artists. They are the unquestionable headliners of the festival at the Hamburger Bahnhof, an exhibition venue of the Berlin National Gallery.

Is there a better mentor than Olafur Eliasson? It is hard to imagine. The Dane with Icelandic roots is one of the most important artists of our time. He is a master of spectacular installations that draw their power from natural elements such as light and water.

Rather than seeing themselves as stylistically influential teachers, for him and the co-directors of the institute, Christina Werner and Eric Ellingsen, it was about collaborative learning and experimenting – an approach that conceivably leaves a lot of scope for the development of their own artistic paths and profiles, which the varied festival program impressively demonstrates.

The open questions of our time

The Volkswagen Group, a longtime partner of the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, supports the festival. “At the Festival of Future Nows, the artists are devoting themselves to the open questions of our time. It will be inspiring for each of us and for our company to find out what answers they uncover,” says Benita von Maltzahn, Head of Culture and Society at Volkswagen Group Communications.

The artists will experience a lot of attention. “It is important to us that as many people as possible are able to engage with contemporary issues and visit the festival. We will accompany the program on Volkswagen’s social media channels,” says Benita von Maltzahn.

Art has so much energy that it sets the world in motion.

The Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞ – which has been incorporated into Berlin Art Week, a huge event for contemporary art with many exhibitions, award presentations, and special events – will see its second edition this month. The Institut für Raumexperimente, now a registered association, created the festival format in 2014 as a platform for students, guests, and friends. It now continues this experiment as an initiator and co-organizer.

When it premiered three years ago, many artists, who now form the core of the festival, were still largely unknown. Having invaded the international art scene, they are meeting again in Berlin where they will be exhibiting fascinating, surprising, and exciting works, which could hardly be more different. 

The formats range from installations, experiments, and improvisations, through to performances. Hierarchies and boundaries are broken down: visitors can participate in the art, shape it, and enrich it.

This is precisely the idea of the Festival of Future Nows 2017 → ∞. Art has so much energy that it sets the world in motion. “Art and the world are closely linked,” says Olafur Eliasson. “Creating a work of art means changing the world a bit – making a small drawing with a pencil can be enough.”

  • Entry to the festival, which opens September 14 at 7 pm, is free of charge.
  • The opening hours for the other three days are as follows: September 15, from 10 am to 11 pm; September 16 and 17, from 11 am to 11 pm.

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