The European Kunsthalle was initiated in 2005 by the organisation Das Loch e.V. – now the European Society for Contemporary Art. The aim was to reflect the concepts and potentials of the ‘Kunsthalle’ model, to put it into perspective and develop it. As a discursive platform without a physical location of its own, the European Kunsthalle has, in its two-year founding period under the direction of Nicolaus Schafhausen and Vanessa Joan Müller, developed its own approach to institutional practice.
Between 2008 and 2010 the Kunsthalle was directed by the European Programme Team with Astrid Wege (Cologne), Rike Frank (Berlin / Vienna) and Anders Kreuger (Lund / Vilnius). The most important projects during this period were „European Kunsthalle c/o Ebertplatz“ (2008/ 2009), where the modular spatial choreography designed by Dorit Margreiter at the Cologne plaza Ebertplatz functioned as a temporary site for exhibitions, film screenings and artistic presentations, and further its activities in New York. Here, the European Kunsthalle curated a series of exhibitions at the downtown exhibition space Ludlow 38 / Goethe Institut New York (2009/2010).
The current activities of the European Kunsthalle focus more vigorously than ever before on decentralised projects as well as a collaborative structure. The diverse threads are coming together at Vanessa Müller and Astrid Wege. As an institution without a permanent site, the European Kunsthalle is targeting overall performative presence: it exists in the very places where its projects are happening.