A new, innovative venue, offering artistic and research residencies of 2–12 months duration for artistic practice at the interface of urban research, will open its doors in Moabit, Berlin-Mitte, on the edges of Berlin‘s largest inland port, Westhafen, in July 2012.
Located in a former railway depot surrounded by a freshly landscaped park, ZK/U – the Center for Art and Urbanistics - is the cornerstone of a concept developed by the Berlin-based artists‘ collective KUNSTrePUBLIK. The association managed to become the owner of the building and holds a 40 year lease on the ground. KUNSTrePUBLIK‘s concepts and projects are equally focused on local involvement and global exchange.
The ZK/U sees itself as a laboratory for inter- and trans-disciplinary, activities centered on the phenomenon of “the city”.
ZK/U promotes international exchange on global issues, in the light of what is happening in one’s own backyard. Working with local and international partners, ZK/U residencies brings together critical minds at the cutting-edge of artistic production and urban research.
Contemporary artistic positions, ranging from contextual and interventionist to conceptual and street art, address selected themes. Work at ZK/U is informed by theoretical and practice-based critiques developed in the disciplines of geography, anthropology, urban planning, architecture and the humanities.
Facilities and Activities
ZK/U, with the support of its partners, provides “living & work“ spaces for international and local applicants. ZK/U also maintains a Common Room, conceived as an adjacent public space for use on a project basis by residency program participants, as well as by local or visiting groups and initiatives for production, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, performance and presentations.
In addition to this physical framework, ZK/U maintains a theoretical superstructure —consisting of regular conferences, publicly accessible (online and print) publications and archives, etc.— emerging from, and feeding into, the expertise of participants and associates. These combined activities underpin ZK/U‘s commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to art production, urban discourse, and creative, inclusionary and publicly-engaged practices. Artists and fellows are selected on merit and according to how their proposals further develop ZK/U thematic focuses. ZK/U seeks to develop projects, co-produce knowledge and share values created through exchanges. ZK/U does not offer a fixed set of ideas and principles for its fellows. Rather, individual projects and needs shape what could be described as a continuous formation. Instead of letting the ‘final product’ constrain the possible routes that a practice might take, ZK/U focuses on the processes that come from, and feed into, the particular contexts of the fellows’ practice, whether they be locally-defined situations or international discourses.