MACHT KUNST- A Sculpture for Berlin
Jury and visitors nominate 16 proposals

Abstract metal objects, interactive installations, monumental human figures, and three-dimensional variations on the iconic Deutsche Bank logo—participants in the “MACHT KUNST. Your Sculpture for Berlin” competition were inspired to create a wide variety of different works. Now, a total of 420 of their models and proposals fill the Deutsche Bank Atrium at Unter den Linden. At stake here is nothing less than a new trademark for the city, a sculpture for the area in front of the new Deutsche Bank building on Otto-Suhr-Allee. “We’re overwhelmed by the breadth, openness, and wealth of ideas among the proposals submitted,” says Friedhelm Hütte, Global Head of Art at Deutsche Bank, and indeed, these were the criteria the jury deliberately took into consideration while making their selection. “It was important for us to give a platform to young artists who are not yet established, alongside their more successful colleagues,” Hütte adds. The majority of proposals came from art students and Berlin-based artists, of course, but there were also proposals from all over Germany and even Switzerland, Poland, China, Spain, Great Britain, Denmark, and Croatia. Some of the more famous participants in the open competition were Tony Cragg, Eve & Adele, and Raimund Kummer, as well as Gregor Hildebrandt, whose proposal made it onto the short list.  

All proposals were presented to the public in a 24-hour exhibition, and the interest was huge. Between Saturday and Sunday midday, around 1,500 people visited Deutsche Bank. Discussions, some of them controversial, took place until well into the night, with the jury debating the strengths and weaknesses of the individual proposals and defining what art for public space should be today. Visitors to the show had the chance to vote for their personal favorite. In the end, they chose Svenja Hehner’s proposal The Golden UFO, a construction made from two large curved mirrors. And the professional jury also made its decision: artist Katharina Grosse, Christoph Tannert, head of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, as well as one representative each from Deutsche Bank and Art-Invest Real Estate, nominated 15 proposals for the short list. The public’s favorite completed this list. “These proposals demonstrate the wide spectrum of the works submitted,” as the jury’s statement explained its decision. The selection includes large-scale works that command the space on Otto-Suhr Allee as well as subtle proposals that, by contrast, seem to disappear into the ground or float in the air, or concepts that call on neighboring residents to participate. The motifs range from stacked conference tables and a dance around the Golden Calf to “Cloud No. 7.” Approximately half of those nominated have already publicly shown their work; for those remaining, the competition is their first public presentation in a larger context. Following another voting round, which takes the technical feasibility of the planned works into consideration, among other factors, the jury will select the winning proposal in January, after which the work will be commissioned and then, in the fall of 2016, installed in front of the new Deutsche Bank building.

With this competition, Deutsche Bank picks up on its successful action MACHT KUNST. In April of 2013, on the occasion of the opening of the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, it announced an open call to submit a work of art for a 24-hour exhibition. Following an overwhelming response, a total of 2,135 works were shown in two large exhibitions, and six selected artists later presented their works in the KunstHalle Studio Gallery.