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Photo: DiamondProx Joscha Steffens

Mannheim Art Prize

award winner exhibition

Joscha Steffens  |  Hannah Schemel

July 18 – August​ 30, 2020

Opening July 17, 2020 — 7 p.m.

Mannheim Art Prize of the Heinrich Vetter Foundation 2020​

Prize-winners’ Show featuring Joscha Steffens and Hannah Schemel 

The Mannheim Art Prize of the Heinrich Vetter Foundation is the mark of support given by the City of Mannheim and the Heinrich Vetter Foundation to professional artists living and working in the metropolitan region. This year sees the eighth edition of the prize, which is awarded for photography and video.


The five-member jury of experts, comprised of Dr Sebastian Baden (Kunsthalle Mannheim), Carolin Ellwanger (Kulturamt Mannheim), Dr Heike Feldmann (Heinrich Vetter Foundation), Stefanie Kleinsorge (Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst) and Thomas Schirmböck (Zephyr-Raum für Fotografie), emphasized the extraordinarily high quality of the numerous entries as well as the great diversity of artistic approaches. Following intense deliberations,  Andrea Eßwein, Ruth Hutter, Emanuel Raab, Hannah Schemel, Peter Schlör, Miriam Stanke, Claus Stolz, Joscha Steffens and Felicitas von Lutzau entered the final round.



As was the case in 2018, the jury opted in favour of dividing the prize into a main prize and an advancement award. The main prize, endowed with 10,000 Euro, ultimately went to Joscha Steffens and the advancement award, endowed with 5,000 Euro, to Mannheim-based photographer Hannah Schemel. 


Joscha Steffens (*1981) represents the jury’s choice of an artist who deals with forms of feigned and staged violence in digital and virtual realities and thematizes controversial phenomena of our present day. Joscha Steffens’s photographs and video works range between documentation and fiction.


Hannah Schemel (*1994) places great value on artisanship, materiality and reduction. Her procedure is strongly informed by her intense dealing with Japanese culture. Auratic photographs of a special quality are produced in an artisanally sophisticated manner using a refined mixed technique.

Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie

Between Art and Commerce

Hein Gorny, Maurice Scheltens
& Liesbeth Abbenes, Bryan Schutmaat,
Daniel Stier, Christopher Williams,
Thomas Wunsch

February 29, 2020 to June 28, 2020


Abbildung: Daniel Stier, Apple, 2018

While photography is an art form, it does not belong exclusively to the world of art. It plays significant roles in all aspects of life and culture, and it is inevitable that these will overlap, have relations to each other, and also be in tension with each other.
In many ways it was an acceptance of this complex relation between art and non-art that led to photography becoming fully modern in the 1920s and 30s. Photographers made images with ambiguity, understanding that they could mean different things in different contexts. Their work appeared in commercial settings and on the pages of avant-garde journals. Some photographers worked simultaneously in the fields of documentary, advertising, portraiture, fashion, scientific imaging, art and more.

Between Art and Commerce looks at this complex situation through the work of several photographers. Each takes a different position. Here you will find an artist who makes images that are then used commercially; commercial photographers who also make art exhibitions; a photographer whose personal and commercial work is indistinguishable; an artist who makes photographic art about commercial photography; and a forerunner of all this who worked in the 1920s and 30s.


Bilder des Wohnens

Roman Bezjak, Axel Grünewald, Eyal Pinkas,

Emanuel Raab, Marco Vedana & Suse Wiegand 

October 12, 2019 to January 5, 2020


With the housing shortage currently under debate at the political level, “Bilder des Wohnens” presents aesthetic, philosophical, art-immanent and image-immanent references to architecture, space and living.


Axel Grünewald examines social and cultural spaces in the coastal regions of northern Morocco and southern Spain against the background of the migratory movements towards Europe. In his work “Bankett” he interprets architecture and topography as symbols of the transitory. Based on their architectonic heritage Roman Bezjakexplores the societal utopias of the 20th century and their status quo, in Tashkent, for example.

The vision of an ideal city with Soviet modernity in mind was realised there in the 1960s. “Luoghi tedeschi”, “German Places”, is the name given by Marco Vedana to an image series which he combines with a typology of German urban space.


Whereas Marco Vedana and Roman Bezjak highlight cultural characteristics via an analysis of architectonic form, Emanuel Raab deliberately separates the close-ups of buildings from their temporal, geographical and architectonic contexts. Dimensional relations, scale or spatial orientations are edited out. Eyal Pinkas also lifts the mundane out of its habitual context with his temporary room sculptures. Objects are subjected to astonishing variations both in terms of their design and through their position in the room. Suse Wiegand, in her delicate and simultaneously space-consuming installation, transforms the functions of objects into entirely new levels of meaning. After all, a sieve is more than just a sieve.


The exhibition is based on the research project by Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences on the topic, “Erkenntnisformen der Fotografie” with the interdisciplinary research project “Bilder des Wohnens.  Architekturen im Bild” and is funded using resources from the Hypokulturstiftung.

Kirchner Hochtief

Evakuiert das Ich-Gebäude

11 May to 22 September 2019

Opening on Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7 p.m.

Kirchner Hochtief denotes simultaneously the band, the artists’ collective and the commercial enterprise led by the musician David Julian Kirchner. Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst presents their debut album Evakuiert das Ich-Gebäudewithin the context of a multimedia exhibition.


Is the pop musician not an artist, but a service provider, a constantly productive product, always in perfection, always on the surface?


On the search for art in pop and creativity in business, with Kirchner Hochtief David Julian Kirchner develops his own artistic form, which reflects the interactions of pop, art and creative business. Accordingly, the debut album by the band Kirchner Hochtief appears not only in the form of a sound carrier.

Evakuiert das Ich-Gebäudeanalyses marketing-relevant elements of successful musicians in the pop business, such as videos, artworks, photographs, performances, hairstyles, lyrics, symbols and scandals, and presents each of them as its own artistic form. More than 100 participants gather around the artist David Julian Kirchner, who describes himself as CEO of the global group Kirchner Total and hence the boss of a gigantic pop empire. Together they are developing a consumption utopia, which accelerates and exaggerates customary marketing strategies. Thus, in parallel to the release, the exhibition already presents the remix.


The potential of this form of accelerationism also manifests beyond the artistic form: directly prior to the exhibition’s commencement, David Julian Kirchner signed a record contract with a renowned record label.

Ana Laibach.jpg
Ana Laibach und 
Amadeus Certa
The winners of the Mannheim Art Prize of the Heinrich Vetter Foundation


When tigers learn to shoot

27th of Januar

to 22nd of April 2019


Considering Finland

Kenneth Bamberg, Elina Brotherus, Ilkka Halso, Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth, Jaakko Kahilaniemi, Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Sanna Kannisto, Ville Lenkkeri, Aurora Reinhard, Anna Reivilä, Mikko Rikala, Iiu Susiraja, Nestori Syrjälä, Pilvi Takala

In cooperation with Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and Finland-Institute Germany.

10. November 2018 – 13.01.2019 

Opening 09.11.2018, 7 p.m.


KEBAM Axel&Gustaf kopieren.jpg

The two exhibition houses for contemporary art Kunstverein Ludwigshafen und Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst simultaneously exhibit both established positions of current Finnish art and young talents, while directing the focus onto photographic and filmic positions.


Finland long since ceased to be a community farmers and foresters, as this was still the case shortly after the country’s independence a hundred years ago. Even the image that was drawn through the globally popular films of Aki Kaurismäki no longer depicts the current diversity of a globalized Finnish culture. Visual traditions, geographical structures or political and infrastructural factors are the basis of a conceptual construction that summarizes artistic creativity under one national aspect. By means of a perspective that makes use of these traditions and factors, but either shatters clichés ironically or directs the gaze far beyond national boundaries onto a globalised society, we intend to broaden the local perspective too and render a contribution to German-Finnish cultural dialogue.

Logo rot neu Kopie.jpg
Vektor Supporter.jpg
Ausstellungsansichten PORT25 uEiMs_ Foto
Ungeborenen Elefanten ins Maul sehen oder die schöne Anordnung der Dinge

Angelika Arendt, Michael Bacht, Ulrich Bechtold, Daniel T. Braun, Simone Demandt, Benjamin Ditzen, Gisela Kleinlein, Laura Kuch, Gerardo Nolasco Magaña, Nicolas Reinhart, H+T Stegmayer, Caro Suerkemper

15.09. – 28.10.2018 

Opening 14.09.2018


The dissolution of the baronial cabinet of curiosities marked the beginning of the modern art museum. The opening to the public of the once-private collections is associated with a rejection of the old style of collecting: The world’s stage was arranged in successions of rooms according to styles and schools; good taste and works of fine art were canonized. Curiosity for discoveries in collections of coins, sculptures, fossils, stuffed animals, pressed plants, and ethnographic rarities yielded to compulsion for standardized elitist bourgeois education.

20th-century art parted ways with the museum norm defined through the discipline of art history and produced the processual, immaterial, ephemeral and extramural. At the present time, art museums are drawing up digital strategies, whereas in artistic practice, in many cases, a renewed interest in structures that play out in the non-digital world can be observed. Enthusiasm for long-term observations, experimentation and the painstaking processing of material stands in contrast to the purely curatorial as a selection from the ever-readily available digital store. The exhibition “Ungeborenen Elefanten ins Maul sehen oder von der schönen Ordnung der Dinge” shows current artistic positions that deal with the structure and (dis)order of things.

Based on old concepts of collecting, a scenography is being developed for the exhibition presentation which is intended to render visible the exuberant diversity of the artistic world.

Will Sohl Artists Books Reloaded im PORT
Will Sohl – Artists' Books Reloaded

Jörg Baier, Adam Cmiel, Fritz Eicher, Margarete Lindau, Johannes Listewnik, Will Sohl


23.06. – 26.08.2018 

Opening 22.06.2018


In co-operation with the Artists’ Estates of Mannheim (Künstlernachlässe Mannheim) and the Centre for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen


The exhibition combines a retrospective on the artist’s books of Will Sohls (1906 – 1969) with a look at our present day. To this end, an open call was issued to artists who were launching their own artistic research on the basis of Sohl’s artist’s books. The call was open-ended in reference to format, medium and form of presentation.


On the one hand, renewed attention is paid with the exhibition and its accompanying publication to the oeuvre of the Ludwigshafen-born artist Will Sohl, who lived in Mannheim until 1936 and first exhibited at the Kunstverein here in 1928. On the other hand, links to present-day potentials of the artist’s book as a medium are highlighted and a direct relation enabled between the different artistic strategies and positions.

The exhibition shows artistic conversion processes that take their point of departure in the former US barracks in Mannheim. For the past five years, sculptor Philipp Morlock has been using the resulting empty buildings at Turley and Taylor Barracks as well as, currently, the US Army’s former residential area, Benjamin Franklin Village, as studios. Philipp Morlock’s work condenses the particular air of transformation exuded by these spaces, and items that the Americans left behind.


The artist makes new formations out of the found material. For example, for the exhibition project, soldiers’ mess halls are decontextualized and, in the exhibition setting outside the former barracks compound, constructed to form a walk-on installation: Wall elements are cut up, joined together again and arranged until a new accessible place arises.


The US Army’s use of the barracks is already a thing of the past, whereas the new inhabitants’ move into the residential estates that are being built is still pending. The particular air of conversion that results from this is unique and ephemeral. The artist intervenes in the conversion process, works with the decay and offers a temporary opposing model.


Therefore, the “out of...” can be pursued all the more into an “into...”.

Philipp Morlock - out of


21.04. – 03.06.2018

Opening 20.04.2018


Ausstellung P Morlock_Fotos Toni Montana

Over several months, Mirko Müller photographs attendees at the “Kompass” drop-in centre run by the drug addiction support association in Mannheim. The exhibition shows impressive portraits of people whose lives play out in a swift succession of hope, courage, fear, grief and loss.


In the context of a dissertation on the subject of “Hope”, photographer Mirko Müller meets social worker Jonas Gieske, who works at the Mannheim drug addiction support drop-in centre. Out of the discussion of their respective professional perspective and expertise, Gieske and Müller develop the project “Über kurz oder lang” – “sooner or later”.


A complex piece of storytelling is concealed behind every photographic portrait. A condensed recording of the interviews conducted by Mirko Müller provides the viewer with the opportunity, via the autobiographical narratives, to learn tangible details about the experience and life contexts of people who are usually paid little attention because they are social outcasts, that is to say, for the most part quite deliberately not heard and seen by the majority society.


The objective of the exhibition at Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst is to offer space to the portraits and hence to the portrayed. In so doing it focuses likewise on the project’s artistic quality. Mirko Müller has created impressive likenesses of people of varying origin and ethnicities. In three-quarter profile or en face, they confront the visitor directly with their existence in larger-than-life photographs in black and white. 

Über kurz oder lang


Ein Projekt von Mirko Müller und Jonas Gieske


17.02. – 08.04.2018 


Eröffnung: Freitag, 16. Februar 2018, 19 Uhr



100 < 1000
Hundert unter Tausend


Matthis Bacht, Sylvia Ballhause, Christian Buck, Margret Eicher, Jeannette Fabis, Hubi M., Gisela Kleinlein, Skafte Kuhn, Ana Laibach, Susanne Neiss, Andrea Ostermeyer, Irina Ruppert, Konstantin Voit, Michael Volkmer


18.11.2017 – 04.02.2018 

Art-buying is not a rich person’s privilege!

To see in the new year, Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst is offering original artworks and editions for purchase.


Anyone who harbours enthusiasm for an artwork is generally guided by a passion that occasionally leads to covetousness. Acquisition of the desired object often leads to a longstanding and stimulating relationship, which not uncommonly gives rise to new knowledge and unexpected insights: In the name of serious engagement with the works, little by little one gains knowledge of the subject by immersing oneself in the work and recognizing references as well as trends in the respective artist’s oeuvre and parallels with other contemporaries. This interest may even give rise to a collection. We share your enthusiasm for current art and have selected high-quality works that have the described relationship potential.


The presentation comprises works by artists who have a special tie to Port25 and, for the most part, have already exhibited here as well. There is good art available in all price categories – we are offering 100 artworks for a maximum 999.99 Euro each.


In addition, through the sales exhibition Port25 is supporting the participating artists directly: ninety percent of the proceeds will go straight to the respective artist.

Sophie Sanitvongs
Maikäfer flieg...

correspondence and accounts by Tante Lili, Leila und Nawar

An exhibition at three different places.
A joint project of Sophie Sanitvongs, Lisa Massetti and Mehmet Ungan.


01.12.2017 – 04.02.2018

Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie
Farewell Photography


No Image Is an Island

How does sharing shape our dealing with images?

Curator: Fabian Knierim


Natalie Bookchin, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Andreas Horlitz & Reinhard Matz, Stefan Karrer, Marc Lee, Eva & Franco Mattes,

D. H. Saur, Joachim Schmid, Juergen Teller, Amalia Ulman,

Andrew Norman Wilson


09.09. – 05.11.2017


Fritz Stier
Con Torso


06.10. – 05.11.2017 


Opening 06.10.2017 in the conext of the awarding of the Rudi-Baerwind-Preis




Photo left: con torso, 5-Kanal-Videoinstallation, 2014. Detail.
© Fritz Stier

How do we use images today? We share them. Since its invention, photography has been a medium of social exchange, a means by which people can relate to one another. With digitization not only has the number of photographic images exploded but their capacity to be reproduced and distributed—which was already one of photography’s characteristic features in the analogue age—has multiplied. The combination of smartphone and camera has made it possible for almost everything to be photographically documented at any time by any user and then to be transmitted at the same moment to millions of others.

Photographs, it seems, only realize their full capital in a networked culture of this kind when they are shared with others. Sharing is the photographic usage of the moment. The individual, isolated image has had its day; instead, photographs appear as part of chains of communication and relationship networks. On social media and in messenger services like WhatsApp and Snapchat, a photo often says more than a thousand words, or 140 characters—it calls for a response, it gets liked, hated, and reshared. As memes, images spread across the Internet like a virus, are modified by users, and released back into orbit. Their natural state is one of circulation. Google searchs never bring to light just one image from the Internet archives but hundreds of them. Every photo on Facebook or Instagram is organized in an online biography and linked with a hashtag to a host of other images. No image is an island.

The motivations that people have for sharing pictures are as various as they are contradictory. We share in order to communicate with others, to set ourselves apart or fall into line, to reassure ourselves, to serve as a diversion or a means of political expression. Sharing generates community and exclusion, it empowers, exerts social control, defines new genres, and has an economic dimension. For the works in this exhibition, the circulating images are material and subject matter alike. They examine the aesthetic and social conventions that evolve through sharing, the relationship between public and private and between the individual and the community, and explore strategies for regulating the flow of pictures and mastering the mass of free-floating images.


Website: Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie


Photo: Eva und Franco Mattes, Ceiling Cat, 2016
© Eva und Franco Mattes, courtesy Carroll/Fletcher, London

The exhibition unites five artists of different generations who come mainly from the Mannheim region and who approach the artistic form via a material-based way of proceeding, be it in the medium of painting, collage or in space-consuming installations. At times, even one’s own body is construed as material, steering the production process through its deployment during filling, tearing, paint application, paint-throwing, or even just through fingerprints. The departure point of the artistic practices is both the search for balance and the experimental exploration of the effectiveness of opposing forces. The relation between structure and chaos, between in front and behind, between inside and outside, as well as with calculated chance as an image-determining process, is visually tangible in the works. Out of processes of the similarly recurring arises an unexpected diversity, which fascinates.



Thank you:
Aral Tankstelle Jungbusch, Café Le Palme, Creative Factory – Gemeinschaftzentrum Jungbusch, Goodstein & Fram, Kombüse, Laboratorio17, Maria Jungbusch, St. James, Yalla Yalla! – studio for change, zeitraumexit, Frank Zumbruch.


Photo: exhibition view in Port25, Susanne Lyner, "les bellettes der mme fredi", © Susanne Lyner, Foto: Toni Montana Studios©

Copying is done everywhere, although not everywhere is a copy a copy. SUPERCOPY – WORLD COPY presents artistic approaches which reflect the structural preconditions, and methods, of copying by appropriating existing concepts, techniques, materials and motifs. After the frequently invoked death of painting, the artist’s function as creator is obsolete: he acts as an interpreter of what is to hand.

The exhibition places a focus on transcultural copying as a strategy of global exchange. For the occasion, an invitation was issued to the international curator collective Madrassa Collective. The works presented by Madrassa constitute a kind of critical itinerary, which investigates both cultural appropriation and political transformation processes and the processes of negotiation that are located behind the mechanisms of collective memory and identity formation.

The exhibition is an off-shoot of the interdisciplinary festival SUPERCOPY, which brings together art, science and economics.

Initiated by supPORTer e.V., in co-operation with Alte Feuerwache and zeitraumexit.


For detailed information, please vistit the artists' pages.


The exhibition is supported by: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg.








Photo: Exhibiton view in Port25, Detail, Hadia Gana: "The Flip Flop System", © Hadia Gana. Foto: Toni Montana Studios©

Port25 meets B-Seite

Martin Backes, Johannes Bayer & Tobias Gallé, Lars Breuer, Werner Degreif, Juliane Gutschmidt, Schirin Kretschmann, Skafte Kuhn, Ana Laibach, Nika Oblak & Primož Novak, Roland Schappert



18.03. – 07.05.2017 



The exhibition “Port25 meets B-Seite” sees the exhibition space as such becoming the theme. In the exhibition the white walls, which normally form a white cube in order to function as a frame and display for presenting fine art works and have no aesthetic value of their own, are moved, like objects, into the middle of the room. Thus, the neutral and secondarily effective itself becomes the subject under consideration. Account is thereby taken, not least, of the observation that present-day art production expresses itself less and less in individual works than in processes of staging.


Port25 has invited six artists to deal with the exhibition wall. Lars Breuer, Werner Degreif, and Ana Laibach have each developed a new work for a wall standing by itself in the room. Schirin Kretschmann shows “Keilerei (mechanische Lösung für ein philosophisches Problem)” on a free-standing wall for the first time at Port25, and Skafte Kuhn is concerned with the unusual concrete cube which, generally, is of no use to the running of an exhibition but does, however, shape the architectonic space. Roland Schappert, finally, has developed for the intermediate – or also transitional – architectonic space of the staircase a wall work, which is presented within the scope of the exhibition for the first time.


Festival B-Seite, which celebrates its tenth edition this year, has invited artists from the fields of new media and digital art in the persons of Martin Backes, Johannes Bayer & Tobias Gallé, Juliane Gutschmidt and Nika Oblak & Primož Novak. Their works have the common feature of deploying media technologies in order to question our perception and to allow us, mostly in a very joyful manner, a glimpse behind the workings of computers and media technologies.



Photo: Installation view in Port25, Skafte Kuhn: Einer kommt, einer geht, 2017, ©Skafte Kuhn. Photo: Toni Montana Studios©


Give and Take Art

Antoanetta Marinov



25.03. – 16.04.2017



Presentation Label Magazine
Jetztmusik Festival 2017


more information: Jetztmusik Festival and Magazine


21.04. – 07.05.2017



With her project “Give & Take Art”, Berlin-based artist Antoanetta Marinov invites artists to give away artworks. Interested artists are invited to take part in the project and to place one or more signed works, which they wish to give away, on the shelf. Other artists, and visitors too, will be able to take these away in turn; the process of giving and taking will be documented in writing. The shelf is now located at Mannheimer Kunstverein (18.04.2017 - 16.07.2017) and will subsequently travel to further art locations in Mannheim: zeitraumexit and Kunsthalle Mannheim.

Das, was bleibt
That which remains

Dieter M. Gräf, Marvin Hüttermann, Irina Ruppert


28.01. – 05.03.2017 


What becomes of what we leave in our wake? What remains of a person in the objects that he or she leaves behind? What do these objects tell of the trauma of loss? How does remembrance become a new narrative? On the basis of two artistic positions, the exhibition “Das, was bleibt” shows how relatives handle bereavements; a third position deals with the physical “departure from the world”.


In the estate of Heidrun, who passed away in 2009, Irina Ruppert discovers – alongside around 200 diaries and photo albums – a collection of hands comprising 280 items. Diaries and collection become the object of her artistic research on the deceased woman. Does the systematic collecting hint at Heidrun’s desires? Is there a reference to her experience of war, flight and loss? Can a psychograph of a person or even a generation be reconstructed from a legacy?


Dieter M. Gräf shows photographs that he took at his parents’ house in Maudach following his mother’s death. He explores his childhood home and uses his mobile phone to record what reminds him of his boyhood days and what has changed only very little since then. The photographs, which lead the beholder’s gaze via the staircase into the house’s living room, bedroom, bathroom and basement, are densely poetic and point to the fragility and ephemerality of our existence.


Marvin Hüttermann’s photographs track what remains when nothing is there any more. Do we vanish without a trace? This is a question that we avoid in everyday life and that we do not find easy to answer. Hüttermann confronts death, the deceased and their legacies. To this end he takes photographs in deceased persons’ apartments, in funeral homes and at the crematorium. The series "Es ist so nicht gewesen", it was not like that, combines in carefully matched pairs of images that which is still there with that which has already gone.


With support of:













Photo: installation view of "Das, was bleibt" © Toni Montana Studios: Marvin Hüttermann, of the series “Es ist so nicht gewesen”, 2013/2014, © Marvin Hüttermann

Girls Go Movie


The highlights of 2016 in our Foyer


04.02. – 05.03.2017


Link to website: here.




Photo: Toni Montana Studios©

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