Berlin, November 2016

Artist Dis-Placement 03: Jan van Esch at the German Red Cross Berlin (DRK)


Placement 03:

We are happy to introduce the third dis-placed artist Jan van Esch! 

At ZK/U Jan will be part of the Artist Dis-Placement program, he will be placed in the DRK (German Red Cross, Berlin branch), a non for profit organisation that works with volunteers. He is specifically interested and wants to look into the diminishing interest of young people being active in older volunteering structures. The project and the topic make him look for a balance between his social science, public health and art background, investigating the question of social engagement and form of youth in society.

Jan van Esch is a visual artist and cultural entrepreneur. For the last five years he was the managing director of Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Nafasi is the cultural meeting point for the visual and performing arts in Tanzania, with working and practice space for artists offering intensive dialogue between artists and the public. Next to the management of the art centre, Jan practises his own art work. He displayed his work in solo and group exhibitions in Tanzania and East-Africa, and he organised community art projects and took part in public art interventions. He holds a masters in Cultural Anthropology and Public Health, and worked in those fields in Russia, USA, Nigeria and Tanzania.

About Artist Dis-Placement: 

The Idea of the Artist Dis-Placement programm is to connect artists to organisations which are not situated in the classical context of the art-sphere in order  to reach a different engagement and an audience which is not naturally in contact with art. ZK/U aims to look at the ‘invisible’ communal services provided by a city. Through the Artist Dis-Placement the ZK/U is extending its actions to the central organisations of the city’s infrastructure.  With this initiative, ZK/U aims to get an artistic overview on what makes a city what it is. By placing artists in organisations involved in a city’s functioning level, we wish to set up a framework for artists to research on the open field of public or semi-public services.
Jan van Esch is the third artist who takes place in this program. Apart from Jan, there is also the Czech artist Viktor Vejvoda who is working at the BSR (Berlin waste management) and Alona Rodeh, a Berlin based Israeli artist, looking behind the scenes of the Feuerwehr Berlin (Berlin fire brigade).   


More info about the Artist Dis-Placement program here.