In spring 2013 Substitut, space for contemporary art from Switzerland in Berlin, will have itʼs 6th anniversary. Together with onlab Substitut publishes a book.

CHF 6’130

102% de CHF 6’000

"102 %"
Comment ça fonctionneä

Le principe du «tout ou rien» s’applique: l’argent ne sera reversé au projet qu’à condition d’avoir atteint ou dépassé l’objectif de financement.

52 contributeur*rices

Clôturé avec succès le 21.1.2013

The book is not a retrospective but a continuation of the idea of Substitut. It focuses on artistic contributions. It is a snap-shot of an art space and the city of Berlin. It is a statement to the current situation of an independent art space within the art system and the city of berlin.

Context: independent art spaces and Berlin

There are countless independent art spaces, project spaces, and off-spaces (or whatsoever they are called) around the world. One thing they all have in common is that they are non-profit and that the people running the spaces (curators and/or artists) usually are unpaid. All the spaces depend on the perseverance and passion of their managers since they are all operating with very little and unsecured budgets. Respectively non-permanent is the character of many spaces and the know how is transferred mostly in a small circle.

There are about 500 exhibition spaces in Berlin (Institutions, galleries, project spaces etc.). Numerous known and unknown artists moved to the city where they found cheap production conditions and most important: a lot of space. But the boom seems to have reached the limits. It is still very difficult to find jobs and money to make a living. In spite of numerous galleries the art market didn’t grow. And even the established institutions still have to work on a low budget. Poor but sexy they say, but sexy is not enough…


Artistic contributions by:

  • Marc Bauer, Patricia Bucher, Les Frères Chapuisat, Eric Emery, Ruth Erdt, El Frauenfelder, Nicolas Galeazzi, Goran Galic / Gian-Reto Gredig, Emanuel Geisser, Melanie Gugelmann, Haus am Gern, Christina Hemauer/Roman Keller, Susanne Hofer, Georg Keller, knowbotiq, Aurelio Kopainig, Isabelle Krieg, Mediengruppe Bitnik, Cat Tuong Nguyen, Delphine Reist / Laurent Faulon, RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co), Martin G. Schmid, Loredana Sperini, Vreni Spieser, Nina Stähli, Ana Strika, Christoph Wachter/Mathias Jud, Christian Waldvogel, Bo Wiget (Beide Messies), Andrea Winkler.

Some exhibition views:

Texts (in G and E):

  • Greeting by Heinz Stahlhut
  • Forword by Urs Küenzi
  • Sally De Kunst about new forms of curating
  • a talk with some Berlin based curators etc.
  • Christian Saehrendt: «Dream Job Artist»
  • Heinrich Gartentor about the art system and itʼs supporting
  • Emilia Rosa Sulek about working for Substitut
  • Urs Küenzi about Substitut

Curatorial Concept

Similar to many exhibition projects at Substitut the concept of the book is as open as possible. It was (and still is) developed equitable with the graphic designers. Starting point was how to transform the idea of independent curating (res an independent art space) into a book.

Editorial Concept

A book in the digital age will become like a Vinyl record. The nostalgia aspect gives it a higher value and maybe even a romantic note. Why not collect all your text-messages and hand it to your lover as a book? Nowadays everyone is a sender, not just a receiver. On the other hand also in the case of book-printing digital culture empowers the individual. The internet and digital printing techniques made the production of (certain) books cheaper. While the latest «Harry Potter» by J.K. Rowling is released worldwide in a massive number of editions «My secret magic skills» by John Smith is ordered just by his beloved ones. The latter printed on demand.

Print on demand – The Book as Performance

The book will be printed on demand and not in a pre-defined number of editions. It will be produced at Substitut in April 2013. You can order the book but as a visitor you can also buy it at Substitut and follow the printing process. By displaying the whole process of the production within the frame of an art exhibition we focus on the performative aspects of editing and printing a book.

We need your support for:

The CHF 6000 we use to pay the authors, the lectorship and the translation of the texts.

For 50 CHF you get a textile bag

Already for CHF 75 you get a book!

For CHF 200 you get a A3 print of one of the contributing artists.

For CHF 350 you get a multiple by Melanie Gugelmann of your choice and for CHF 500 you get both.