installation | photography | objects | video | interactive media

Artists: Penelope Vlassopoulou, Alessandra Senso, Marco Ristuccia, Julia Patey, Margarita Novikova, Stephanie Neumann, Carolin Kastner, Bram Braam, Rebecca Agnes.

concept / curating by Susanne Lek

Opening: March 27, 7pm -11pm – 
Opening times: Friday / Saturday / Sunday 3pm – 7pm Location: Joao Cocteau, Kienitzer Strasse 98, Berlin – Neukölln

Most cities have an amazing amount of vacant, unused land in its downtown core. Over the past few years, radically changing economic, industrial and employment patterns have further exacerbated the problem of these lost spaces. This is especially true along highways, rail road linesand waterfronts, where major gaps disrupt the overall continuity of the city form.

However, lost spaces, although underused and deteriorating, provide exceptional opportunities to reshape an urban center and counteracts and suburbanization and gentrification.

While the residential areas in the former East of Berlin experience massive urban upgrading, leading to gentrification, the once glamorous West is filled with deserted areas and empty buildings. It seems to be ‘done’ and overcrowded with tourists.

This contrast between lost spaces on the one hand, and highly gentrified districts on the other, can be confusing for outsiders, but also for Berliners themselves. This group show reflects on these contradictions from different artistic viewpoints.

How do outsiders experience the loaded history of Berlin? How can someone keep up with a city that is changing so fast? How can artists help by turning lost, dystopic spaces into utopian, creative sights? These and more questions will be raised and reflected on in this exhibition.

Susanne Lek is doing her masters in Contemporary and Modern Art History at University Utrecht, The Netherlands. She is currently finishing her thesis about the subject of dystopia in the work of contemporary Dutch artists. During her Erasmus grant in Berlin she works at art transponder within the frame of an internship.

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