Staatskunst, Pioniernutzung, Repräsentation

STATISTA is a collaboration between ZK/U – Centre for Art and Urbanistics and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Haus der Statistik, located in close vicinity to the famous Alexanderplatz, was built between 1968 and 1970 and functioned as the GDR's central administration office of statistics. After the reunification of Germany it housed offices for the federal office of statistics and the official responsibles for Stasi-files. Now, the building has stood abandoned for over ten years.

In September 2015, the Alliance of Endangered Berlin Ateliers used a banner attached to the building's facade to proclaim the use of the building as a centre for socio-cultural purposes. By now, this artistic campaign has become city politics, making the Haus der Statistik (HdS) a unique pilot project used by a wide array of actors who define a place for city development, paving the way to the future. Now, over 100.000 square-meters are available to be used for culture, social infrastructure, education, affordable living, a new town hall and administrative purposes in the heart of Berlin.

Sponsored by the Berlin Senate Administration for Culture and Europe, the artistic project STATISTA is to explore the abandoned HdS from May to December 2019, attempting to identify ways to collaborate within the space and thereby benefit the common good. What has started as a critical demand by the state has evolved to a public promotion of art. The pioneer's spirit of 2015 emerges as the future statecraft, as a city-level political cooperation far off from the rivalry of the Creative City. Interim use, in this case, does not lead to gentrification but to the consolidation and improvement in everybody's interest – and acts in the spirit of the statecraft of the future. 

The German word "Statistik", as well as it's English counterpart "statistics", originates the latin word statisticum which also forms the basis for the Italian word statista, meaning "one who masters statecraft". Today, statecraft may describe practical political capacity as well as state-commissioned art. Thinking of both as one is a challenge: Art that functions as a mirror for societal interests, but also as a process that takes active influence on managerial systems and value creation.

In ten fields of action, STATISTA wants to develop artistic prototypes for an urban society based on the common good. The results of these artistic processes will then be part of the presentation week (11.-15.09.2019) and made publicly visible: Starting with a cryptocurrency based on the well-being of bees, over to naturalistic facade design, neighbourly cooperations and an international conference.

However, the project is not solely about the "Kiez" (neighbourhood) and cautiousness. In the face of dawning ressource scarcity – whether in living space or fossile ressources – we now have to pave the way while keeping a wide horizon. The logic of timely limited cultural interim use has to be overcome to the benefit of a logic of consolidation and "pioneer usage": purposeful experiments as persistent ideological precursors. In the sense of pioneer vegetation, this excells through the principle of needing only little to survive and yet preparing the ground for new things to come.


Artistic direction: Harry Sachs, Matthias Einhoff, Philip Horst (ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik)
Curator: Tirdad Zolghadr (KW Institute for Contemporary Art) 

STATISTA is sponsored by the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa. The STATISTA presentation week will take place as part of the Berlin Art Week (11.—15.9.2019). 

Project members: Economic Space Agency (ECSA), Hiveeyes, KUNSTrePUBLIK, Labor k3000, Moabees, openBerlin, Penny Rafferty und Nascent, raumlaborberlin mit Bernadette La Hengst, und andere mehr 

Dates of STATISTA presentation week: 11 until 15. September 2019, STATISTA congress: 14. and 15. September 2019 

Further information

Haus der Statistik Karl-Marx-Allee 1, 10178 Berlin