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  5. Volkswagen Fellow explores KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s archive in Berlin

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Volkswagen Fellow explores KW Institute for Contemporary Art’s archive in Berlin

  • Continuation of the international fellowship program sponsored by Volkswagen
  • Art historian Jenny Dirksen named new VW Fellow
  • The two-year research project explores and presents the history and influence of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin  
Philippe Van Snick, Dag/Nacht, 1984 – ongoing, Installation view entrance gate, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Courtesy Tatjana Pieters, Photo: Frank Sperling.

Volkswagen Group and KW Institute for Contemporary Art have granted a VW Fellowship with a focus on archival research. Following the longstanding tradition of VW Fellows, Jenny Dirksen took up work as the new VW Fellow in Berlin.

The KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Volkswagen have granted a VW Fellowship. Over the course of this two-year research project, Jenny Dirksen will digitize parts of the extensive archive, adapt it for publication and make it accessible to the broader public. In a series of discussions and public workshops, insights on the history and lasting influence of KW’s cultural activity over the past 25 years will be shared and presented.

"Since its beginnings, KW has been sending ground-breaking impulses through Berlin and the world. Over the past 25 years, KW wrote a piece of Berlin history. Now is the time to evaluate our wide-ranging archive in the dynamic spirit of our institute. Thanks to the support of Volkswagen Group, we were able to set up a research position and entrust Jenny Dirksen as a distinguished scholar with this important task," explains Krist Gruijthuijsen, Director at KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Volkswagen Fellow with a focus on archival research: Jenny Dirksen, Photo: Private.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art has established itself as a vibrant venue for progressive artistic practices within Berlin and international art scenes. A systematic assessment and interpretation of KW’s archive is therefore of outstanding importance. Candidates who were considered for the fellowship graduated in the fields of art history, archive studies, library science or related faculties. Jenny Dirksen studied art history, classical archaeology and English philology. She was the academic project manager at Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and guest instructor at Bard College Berlin.

"Our VW Fellows program has provided numerous young people with valuable insights into the inner workings of leading cultural institutions. Jenny Dirksen, our new VW Fellow, is now going to immerse herself in the archive of Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art. As partners, we are pleased to support another talented individual and are looking forward to rediscovering 25 years of KW history and experiencing familiar stories from new perspectives.", says Benita von Maltzahn, Director Cultural Engagement at Volkswagen Group.

With the VW Fellowship, Volkswagen is continuing its longstanding commitment to foster young talents. The VW Fellow scholarship program was launched in 2012 with the aim of enabling young people to gain practical experience in cultural institutions. Since then, numerous young talents have worked in various positions at the MoMA, MoMA PS1, the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg and the Schinkel Pavillon.

The cooperation between Volkswagen Group and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art is an important element of the company’s commitment to the arts and culture. On the road to becoming a globally leading provider of sustainable mobility, Volkswagen Group is also broadly committed to social issues. The effective support of art and culture plays a vital role as Volkswagen views a wide-reaching creative conversation and cultural diversity as crucial to a value-oriented and progressive society. Cultural education programs and platforms inviting the broader public in both classic analog and digital spaces are at this engagement’s core. Next to long-term partnerships with Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin or the Staatskapelle Dresden, Volkswagen is currently supporting projects of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and numerous cultural initiatives in China.