Berlin and its surroundings are rich in history, which often comes to life in abandoned places such as the former district court prison in Berlin-Köpenick. This building, built at the end of the 19th century, harbours a dark past, marked by the brutal torture of Jews, communists and other ‘enemies of the state’ during the Blood Week in June 1933. It later served as a youth prison in the GDR and was eventually converted into a costume archive for state television. Today, a large part of the complex has fallen into disrepair, but thanks to the initiative of the Kunstanstalt (KuKuK Berlin e.V.), the building is being revitalised and used as an artistic space.

From 23 May to the beginning of June, a pop-up producers' gallery will open its doors within the walls of this historic location. The exhibition, organised by artists Susanna Gyalokay and Karin Stumpf under the title AR(T)REST, promises a diverse presentation of contemporary art. The former cells serve as an inspiring backdrop to present works by various artists and breathe new life into them. Local and international contemporary art take centre stage in this exhibition.

Why AR(T)REST? The term ‘arrest’ symbolises severely restricted personal freedom, confinement and the desire to escape. The cells of the former prison, cramped and gloomy, offer the artists the ideal space to reflect these feelings of restriction and deprivation of freedom in their works. From figurative paintings and abstract sculptures to conceptual installations and performances, the artists use a variety of media to inspire visitors to reflect in different ways.

The exhibition will take place at Seelenbinderstraße 26 in Berlin-Köpenick. The vernissage will take place on 23 May 2024 at 18:00, will be opened by Dr Ulrike Bröcker and accompanied by music by Max Hacker. The exhibition is open Thursdays to Sundays from 16:00 to 20:00 until the beginning of June. Anyone interested is cordially invited to discover this unique artistic space and explore the multi-layered themes of confinement, freedom and escape.

The exhibition opens:

  • Thursday 23.5 18:00 - Vernissage
  • Fr 24.5- So 26.5 16:00-20:00
  • Thursday 30.5- Sa 1.6 16:00-20:00
  • Sunday 2.6 18:00 - Finissage