The private-enterprise art market continues to strongly influence society's view of contemporary art. Its success is heightened by spectacular art sales at fairs and auctions, internationally acclaimed events hosted by private museums, foundations and galleries, and "blockbuster" exhibitions attended by droves of exhibition goers. How does this affect publically financed and non-profit art institutions? Does the increased attention generated by the art market call the necessity of such institutions into question? How freely can public art institutions develop their programmes and to what extent do they contrast commercially-driven art organizations?
The conference "Art Values Society" (Kunst Werte Gesellschaft) examined the current significance of non-profit institutions as mediators between the public sphere and the art market, and, more specifically, their function in the social process of determining the value of art. The conference, which was held during the 5th berlin biennial, attempted to re-evaluate the positional relationship between publically and privately-funded art. In addition to podium discussions, lectures and presentations, the conference provided art associations and non-profit art organizations with an "open space" to present their work. The speakers included Marion Ackermann, Uli Aigner, Stephan Berg, Beatrice von Bismarck, Anne-Marie Bonnet, Armin Chodzinski, Stephan Dillemuth, Harald Falckenberg, Bernd Fesel, Catrin Lorch, Dirk Luckow, Stephan Opitz, Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Tino Sehgal, Andreas Siekmann, Klaus Staeck, Hortensia Völckers, Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, Adam Szymczyk, Regina Wyrwoll and many others.
An event funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Federation of German Art Associations and the Academy of the Arts