de en

18.1.2019, 11:30 – 18:00 Uhr
In the Belly of the Beast? Insights into the contemporary art market

  • Venue:

  • HFBK Hamburg, Hörsaal (R 229)

Spectacular auction results always make big news, far beyond the realms of the art world. But we rarely hear about the everyday business of the smaller, supposedly less glamorous players who make up for the art market’s bigger part. How do they survive and operate? And is the contemporary art market restricted to places where art is bought and sold? Or aren’t we all involved, whether producing, selling, writing, and critiquing art, whether learning or teaching how to make art?

This symposium is meant to offer fundamental insights into some of the contemporary art market’s structures and hopefully inspire further debate, critique and discourse. Four experts from different sectors of the art world will share their knowledge and experience. Vesselina Sarieva, director of Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and a driving force behind the creation and development of a contemporary art scene in the country, will talk about her work both as a dealer and mediator of contemporary art. Christian Kaspar Schwarm, strategist, collector, and founder of Independent Collectors, Berlin, will discuss the pleasures of owning, living and conversing with contemporary art. Marie-Kathrin Krimphoff, Senior Art Consultant, Bergos Berenberg AG, Zurich, will offer a deeper understanding of an investor’s perspective on contemporary art; and Anna-Catharina Gebbers, curator at the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, will speak about the relationship between private collections and public institutions.


Introduction by Astrid Mania
Professor for art criticism and modern art history at HFBK Hamburg

Vesselina Sarieva
Director Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

13.00 lunch break

Christian Kaspar Schwarm
Strategist, collector, founder of Independent Collectors, Berlin

Marie-Kathrin Krimphoff
Senior Art Consultant, Bergos Berenberg AG, Zürich

Anna-Catharina Gebbers
Curator, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

Final discussions

The symposium is organized by Prof. Dr. Astrid Mania.

With the support of HFBK and Erasmus students Merve Akal, Sarah Drath, Saki Ho, Niki Lampada, Rizki Lazuardi, Anne Meerpohl, and Julia Romas.

Art defies Corona: Graduate Show 2020

With a two-month delay, the Graduate Show will take place this year on the 19 and 20 September. More than 140 students will show their artistic graduation projects, from painting to sound installation. Visitors are invited to view the numerous works on site from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A specially developed corona concept will take care of your health during this weekend. We are looking forward to your visit!

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

New articles at is the social network of the HFBK. It opens a digital forum for exchange and discussion in which students, teachers, guest authors, art critics and the interested public provide a wide range of content and perspectives.

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?

Annual Exhibition 2020 at the HFBK

The HFBK’s traditional annual exhibition („Jahresausstellung“) opens in February every year. For three days the students – from first-years to post-graduates – present a broad spectrum of their current work and projects from all the different departments. All classrooms, studios and halls in the building are used. Interested visitors are cordially invited to gain an impression of the art currently being created at the HFBK.