Skip to main content
n.b.k. © visitBerlin, Foto: SSw

1989-2019: Politics of Space in New Berlin

The end of the block confrontation between East and West heralded by the fall of the Berlin Wall - a turning point in which the political scientist Francis Fukuyama spoke of the "end of history" - had a very special impact on Berlin, where the capitalist and socialist world orders collided directly urban development.


Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k.

Chausseestraße 128-129 10115  Berlin

On the one hand new political and cultural spaces were opened, on the other hand paved the wall fall of a neo-liberalization of politics the way. The political will to reform was justified by the need to be able to compete with other major cities. The new spatial policy was carried out on three levels: far-reaching administrative reforms made it possible to sell municipal real estate on a nationwide basis; the long-term consequences are now increasingly putting the housing market and the socio-spatial structure of the city under tension. On the architectural level, Berlin's neo-historicism served the need for national identity, but the architectural reconstruction debate of the 1990s functioned as an ideological transition and obscured the aforementioned transformation processes.

The staging of Berlin as a cultural hub in the wake of the Berlin banking crisis is an expression of a new urban policy that seeks to exaggerate the myth of creative Berlin and to establish the city as a global destination by means of a targeted valorization of subcultures and countercultures. The exhibition 1989-2019: Politics of Space in New Berlin outlines the urban and architectural development of the supposed "end of history": How has Berlin become what it is today? It is not about completeness in the sense of a linear historiography, but about the presentation of partly contradictory processes and narratives, which overlap and condense in Berlin today. There is not one Berlin, but many myths and imaginations of what Berlin should be. The exhibition reflects the perspectives and myths of history, the market and creativity.

exhibitionProjects realized specifically for the exhibition illustrate different urban-spatial policies and their consequences for today's Berlin. For the first time, a comprehensive cartography of the privatization of Berlin visualizes comprehensively the sale of public property in recent decades. With the glossary of privatization, Andrej Holm analyzes terms that reflect administrative tools and operations that led to the extensive sale of state-owned real estate. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and students of the Technical University of Berlin present the Real Estate of Emergency real estate portfolio, which examines around thirty current speculative objects and reveals the underlying interests. Guerilla Architects explore the language of the speculative housing market by filming a glossary of real estate language. Schroeter & Berger deal with the creativity of urban marketing campaign be Berlin and adapt their aesthetics through collage, montage and détournement. Based on a research work by the architectural theorist Verena Hartbaum, which systematically opened up Berlin's historicizing architectures, Daniel Poller photographically documented the large number of new buildings of the last three decades in order to point out social distinction and exclusion mechanisms on the basis of their design principles. With his video installation, Poller imagines a realizing Berlin, which has chosen the past as its social goal.

Public editorial officeARCH + is an independent journal for architecture and urbanism. Founded in the wake of the 1968 uprising, the focus is on the critical reflection of the social aspiration of architecture. Each issue details a topic and picks up current discussions from other disciplines with regard to architectural and urban issues. In the period of the exhibition, ARCH + is transferring its editorial offices to the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein to develop an exhibition based on the exhibition and discourse program, which will address the discursive and political changes of recent times as well as the current paradigm of Berlin spatial politics. As was the case during documenta 12 (2007), ARCH + redesigns an exhibition site to a public editorial office and combines artistic positions with critical theory production.

Panel program
Selective glances into the history, present and future of the city should explore how urban Berlin is composed today. Politicians, architects, urban theorists, artists and activists discuss the politics of space in the new Berlin: What to do about history-forgotten efforts? In what condition are urban social movements at present, how can their relationship to party politics be emancipated? Which associations, planning approaches and architectures are needed to create a solidary Berlin of openness?

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7 pm
Myth of the market I
Discussion with Daniela Brahm (artist, ExRotaprint, Berlin), Andrej Holm (sociologist, Humboldt University Berlin), Karin Lenhart-Roth (political scientist, Hannover University of Applied Sciences), Florine Schüschke (urban researcher, Berlin), Steffen Zillich (politician, Berlin)

Thursday, September 26, 2019, 7 pm
Myth of the story
Discussion with Adrian von Buttlar (art historian, Technical University Berlin), Michael S. Falser (art historian, University of Heidelberg), Verena Hartbaum (architectural theorist, University of Stuttgart), Daniel Poller (artist, Berlin)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7 pm
Myth of creativity
Discussion with Florian Hertweck (Architect, University of Luxembourg), MetroZones - Center for Urban Affairs (Berlin), Nina Scholz (Journalist and Author, Berlin), Schroeter & Berger (Designer, Berlin)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 8 pm
The staging of the urban
Screening from the collection of n.b.k. Video-Forum, selected by Kristina Paustian (n.b.k. video forum), with a commentary by Sophia Gräfe (media and cultural scientist, Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin)
Films by Denis Beaubois, in the event of Amnesia the city will recall ... (1997); Arno Brandlhuber / Christopher Roth, Are You Happy? (2012); KP Brehmer, Walkings No. 1-6 (1969-1970); Niklas Goldbach, Habitat C3B (2008); Allan Kaprow, Sweet Wall (1970); Holly Zausner, The Beginning (2003)

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 7 pm
Myth of the Market II
Discussion with Arno Brandlhuber (architect, Berlin, ETH Zurich), Katalin Gennburg (politician, Berlin), Guerilla Architects (Berlin), Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (architect and urban designer, TU Berlin / ETH Zurich), Birgit Möhring (managing director of Berliner Immobilienmanagement GmbH, Berlin), Philine Schneider (architect and curator, Berlin)

Event calendar