free entry is a collective group of artists with the goal to provide a free and open access to the world of art. We use locations that would not typically serve as exhibition spaces, dismantle thresholds, create permeable borders. In the spirit of “free entry”, we wish to create a sense of openness in which everyone has access and is welcome. We see potential for people, especially in places outside the art scene, in an attempt to bring different backgrounds and ideas together.
We want to create a new, more open dialogue around art in which each person can participate, regardless of what scene or social group they may be affiliated with. In our exhibitions, the individual works of each artist often reflect on the social and physical boundaries in a critical manner from which the chosen context entails. In 2020, the collective successfully organized and implemented two exhibitions. In the self-titled exhibition f r e e n t r y, we exhibited in the night club “Unten” in Kassel’s northern part of the city. By deliberately concealing the fact that the event is an art exhibition, we were able to welcome many visitors who found themselves attracted by a techno party between works of art. At the same time, however, we also deteriorated the boundaries of a classic exhibition in the club by offering live music, a bar, and a dance floor.
For the second exhibition “free entry +1” we opened ourselves up to the outside world by inviting other artists to exhibit with us in public spaces. All participants were free to choose a location within Kassel where they would like to exhibit. The individual works created a network within the exhibition context, where visitors were invited to take a city tour or guided walk through various parts of Kassel, in addition to free maps and informational material that was available at every location, we also offered guided bike tours in small groups. Some artists actively sought an exchange with the public by being available for discussions at their given location.
In addition to specific projects, we research and investigate methods of collective work during our meetings. It is important for us to build up structures in which ideas like hierarchies are questioned and provide an atmosphere where each member can contribute and develop in healthy and safe space, free of a constant pressure to perform.