With SECRET FRIENDS, curator Maik Schierloh invites eleven artists to make visible an invisible network of friendships in Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven. Born in Wilhelmshaven in 1968, Schierloh has long been an important contributor to Berlin‘s independent art scene. In 2001 he co-founded the Autocenter project space, and from 2003 he turned Bar Babette, a former beauty salon on Karl-Marx-Allee, into a meeting place for artists. Much more than a pub, Babette was an art and cultural salon, hosting over 1,000 short-term exhibitions and concerts of all musical genres, literature, art book presentations and parties. Above all, it was a place of ideas beyond commerce and art institutions. After 15 years, the bar had to close, because the lease was not renewed. Berlin was thus stripped of one of its most original project spaces.
Schierloh is now breathing new life into the spirit of Bar Babette in Wilhelmshaven. His SECRET FRIENDS areTatjana Doll | Martin Eder | Eberhard Havekost | Gregor Hildebrandt | Andy Hope 1930 | Via Lewandowsky | Frank Nitsche | Andrea Pichl | Thomas Scheibitz | Heidi Specker | Thomas Zipp.
When Bar Babette shut down, Maik Schierloh cut the exhibition wall into postcard-sized pieces (10.5 × 15 cm). On their edges, these tiles reveal traces of the many layers of paint that served as backgrounds for the hanging of countless art works. NORTH OVERSEE invites artists from Wilhelmshaven, the East Frisian Peninsula, Oldenburg and Bremen to submit small-format works for a group exhibition in the Kunsthalle‘s cabinet. An exchange with one of the tiles is also possible.