Videoart at Midnight is an artists’ cinema project initially founded in 2008 by Olaf Stüber and the collector Ivo Wessel as a screening series. Monthly since, and always on a Friday at midnight, Videoart at Midnight invites predominantly Berlin based artists to show their work on the big screen of the legendary BABYLON Film Theater in the Berlin Mitte district.
Every night is dedicated to one artist who is present. It is their night. The artists often take the chance to celebrate premieres or to present works rarely shown before. They also stage live acts from time to time, including performances, concerts or lectures, which accompany the film and video presentations.
The goal of the screenings is to lend insight into contemporary video art production in Berlin’s unique international art scene and to provide artists working with film and video with their own bright platform.
Media artworks are ubiquitous in the art world today. However, a significant part of these works requires being seen in cinemas with their characteristic set of arrangements and conventions (Michel Foucault’s “dispositif”). Often, only a cinema setting offers the adequate conditions for viewing the entire work – from beginning to end. And only then does it become possible to trigger a discussion reflecting the artwork.
With its darkened room, its seating rows set in an immutable position in front of the large screen, its perfect projection and sound system, and the community it creates through the joint entering and the collective spectatorship, cinema seduces us into “enduring” artists’ moving-images and encourages us to challenge our individual film experiences.
In contrast to an exhibition installation or even the internet, cinema provides us with a distinctive and often significantly more focused form of reception – thus opening new lines of inquiry for thinking the medium.
Positioned between the city’s institutions, such as art associations and museums on the one hand, and artist-run project spaces and initiatives on the other, Videoart at Midnight fills a gap in the Berlin art world. It is well embraced by artists – both big names and artists we don’t (yet) have on our radar – and warmly appreciated by the audience.
Videoart at Midnight is a private, independent initiative originating in the Berlin off-scene and a time when Berlin was not as commercialized as it is today; when there were still innumerable clubs and speakeasies in Berlin-Mitte, when people still drank warm beer and vodka in dodgy basements.
Hence, Videoart at Midnight remains free of charge. Its audience is usually young and international and may well stay in their seats till early in the morning.
Executive director and curator: Olaf Stüber.
Award for Artistic Project Spaces and Initiatives by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, 2022
Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, 2022 – 2023
The Capital Cultural Fund (Hauptstadtkulturfonds), 2018
Institut Francais d’Allemagne, 2023
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, 2018
Texte zur Kunst
Partners and Hosts
Akademie der Künste Berlin
Art House, Shkodra, Albania
Berlinische Galerie – Museum of Modern Art
BPA// Berlin program for artists
Fluentum – Contemporary Time-Based Art
Goethe Institute Salvador Bahia, München, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipeh, New Delhi, Washigton D.C., Beijing, Sofia
Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Haus am Waldsee
Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
n.b.k. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
Times Art Center Berlin
Videonale at Kunstmuseum Bonn