(c) Gabriel Vallecillo Márquez, 2019

OPENHAUS PLUS SPEISEKINO is a special event where multiple ZK/U formats meet to create an exciting and diverse program!

OPENHAUS, organised every other month, opens the doors of our residency and gives the public a chance to discover our residents’ artistic projects, discuss and exchange directly with them. Every 4 months, the Fact-Finding Committee (“UA”), a local project commissioned to investigate current issues faced by Berlin’s urban society, present their findings in a publication, adding the PLUS to the OPENHAUS. SPEISEKINO // FOOD AND FOOTAGE completes this special program: taking place every Thursdays of the summer months, SPEISEKINO brings together a carefully curated screening and meal around changing themes.

For this edition of OPENHAUS PLUS SPEISEKINO, the program weaves itself around questions of use and perception of the urban and green spaces through a variety of formats. 

The Fact-Finding Committee #04 plans to share the results of their research around urban wildlife and urban food production while SPEISEKINO puts the spotlight on urban gardening and the threats they face. Video works from RESIDENTS investigate relationship and synchronicities between humans and nature, and how plants viewed through a cultural lens can be reminiscent of our own social context. Insights into narratives of the Moabiter Stadtgarten is shared by young locals.

Throughout ZK/U, different video installations put the focus on specific spaces through sound and the notion of “indistinct”, or give a mythical interpretations of flight accidents. Police repression is powerfully evoked, while the public is invited to share their own experience of military urbanism. Misplaced architectural ornaments and statue-washing uses elements of the public space as reinterpreted symbols. Other works question social bonds through the give and take cycle, shared and unshared maps of meaning, and collective investigation of emotion, gender and movements in public spaces. Finally, a workshop invites people to redefine digital design through the lens of collective rights.

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the artists and researchers in residence and explore ZK/U’s space and surroundings, to ask questions, to discuss and to exchange ideas about ongoing projects and artistic practices.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

16:00 Workshop: Urbanizing the digital #1
17:30 Himmelbeet panel: No remaining wastelands
19.00-22.30 Open studios and installations
19:00 Food in the frame of SPEISEKINO: Salad from the Himmelbeet garden
20.00 Guided tour
21:30 Screening SPEISEKINO // The Opposite of Grey (2017)

Participants: αGOAT - die Berliner Ziegenbande, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, Semâ Bekirović, Jan van Esch & Nicolás Concha, Julia Gryboś & Barbora Zentková, Fatma Hendawy, Pawel Jankiewicz, Kristina Miller, Silke Riechert, Sophia Schultz, Mu Tian & Nu Li, Gabriel Vallecillo, Jonas Vansteenkiste, Andrew Wilson, Aiwen Yin, ZK/U Fact-Finding Committee #04 (Stadtfrauenküche), Zona Dynamics

Free entry


Title: The Opposite of Gray (2017, 90 min)
Director: Matthias Coers
Language: German with English subtitles

Menu: Salad from the Himmelbeet garden

Fallow land, vacancy, anonymity, stagnation – not everyone living between Dortmund and Duisburg is willing to settle for that. On the contrary. More and more people are discovering opportunities to intervene in everyday urban life. A living room in the middle of the street, the neighbourhood, community gardens. Community houses and citizen initiatives emerge in the niches of the cities – independently, self-determined and together. ‘The Opposite of Gray’ shows different groups that live in practical utopias and open spaces, and fight for a solidary and ecological coexistence in an urban space.

Panel discussion with representatives of various community gardens and the director.

Entrance to the film is free as usual. Food from 7.30 p.m., films from 8.30 p.m. 

A meal costs €10. Please reserve your plate until the evening before by sending an email to speisekino(at)zku-berlin.org.

SPEISEKINO // FOOD AND FOOTAGE is part of ‘Shared Cities: Creative Momentum’ and co-funded by the European Union's Creative Europe Programme and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

The Fact-Finding Committee #04 // Stadtfrauenküche

After four years of experimenting, cooking and curating at ZK/U, Stadtfrauenküche (SFK) is directing their critical focus on their own practices and beyond, on the city as well as the countryside. What is the aesthetics of production at play? Which narratives and facts circulate, and where do they mingle? Can ground ivy grow in a raised bed garden? What about transparency in terms of food sourcing and resources, and democracy in terms of nutrition and food production? What are good social aesthetics and what happens if there is too much on your plate?

To make sure that something definitely will be on your plate, SPEISEKINO will take place on the same evening to round up the topic which will be reflected in the choice of film as well as the dinner served.

The project ‘Fact-Finding Committee’ is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

αGOAT - die Berliner Ziegenbande


I think it might have been two years since we started coming here. At first we met here every other week but after a while we just kinda fell in love with it. We fell in love with the beautiful clouds in the sky, the sun at dawn that tints the whole block in a shade of gold and in the moon that shines aboves us. 

We are αGOAT. 

All of us are from Moabit and Wedding and we spend most of our days here. We look at pictures, draw pictures and take pictures. We listen to music, write music and produce music. And of course we also roll blunts and smoke blunts.

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar


What happens when biology and botany are approached from a cultural perspective? Can the behavior of urban plants act as a reminder of crime, displacement and slums?

The video contains footage of urban plants recorded at night.

This residency is made possible thanks to the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, the neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) as well as DEPO.

Semâ Bekirović


In this video we see two hands scrubbing the public sculptures of Piet Heyn in Rotterdam, Michiel de Ruyter in Vlissingen and Jan Pieterszoon Coen in Hoorn. These are highly criticized figures since they are connected to the Dutch colonial past. Although the sculptures are being washed, there seems to be no true intention of cleaning them. Instead, big amounts of soap and bubbles deform the sculptures, reflecting on our incapability to deal with this past.

Camera: Ben Geraerts

Sound: Marcus Bruystens

Post-production: Gabriel Vallecillo

This residency is funded by the Mondriaan fonds.

Special thanks to the Nederlands filmfonds.

Julia Gryboś & Barbora Zentková


The project “A Few Liters of Dried Rituals” was a site-specific, acoustic sound performance, created for the River and Sun Baths in Luhačovice, Czech Republic.

Fatma Hendawy


The first key feature of the new military urbanism is the way it normalizes new imaginations of political violence and a whole spectrum of ambient threats to ‘security’ which centre on the everyday sites, spaces, populations and circulations of cities. Stephen Graham, 2012.

This project investigates the ramifications of placing security buildings in the city centers, with a focus on BND Zentrale building and its surroundings in Berlin. Although locating this building within the premise of a residential neighborhood was considered a friendly attempt from the German Federal Intelligence Services towards transparency, it might have other purposes under what is called now “Military Urbanism”.

The project opens the discourse for understanding the use of architecture and urban space as a tool to impose state sovereignty.

Paweł Jankiewicz


Through the residency Paweł Jankiewicz stages the scene of his writing. Moabit itself, the criticism of the fellow residents, the simulation of the art exhibition – all of these make the necessary props for the narrative he’s unfolding. This matrix is evoked as an exemplary site – a field of deposits of what he calls "the indistinct". Elaborated as a poetic paraconcept, it supports a nonlandmarkish space of a city. A zone that feels and works simply as "a city". No Gherkins, no Ferris wheels, no Walkie-Talkies; no Fernsehturms. No stories. No one-liner descriptions that compete for the institutional attention. Nothing that looks like a saleable product. Nothing that competes in the race of identity politics. Instead – something quite embarrassing with its nullity. Like a reflection on a gallery display that no one seems to give a what about. That, unlike the artwork inside, no one in her right mind would make a trip to see. But which engages with the "Mille plateaux" quip: "The problem of writing: in order to designate something exactly, anexact expressions are utterly unavoidable. Not at all because it is a necessary step, or because one can only advance by approximations: anexactitude is in no way an approximation; on the contrary, it is the exact passage of that which is under way."

Mu Tian & Nu Li


Killing All On Board comes from a piece of news that reported a serious aviation accident, in which the engine’s malfunction caused the death of all passengers aboard the aircraft. Such accidents are sometimes left unsolved with no further explanation, evoking different hypotheses and conspiracy theories. The artist takes a fictional angle to propose a potential narrative: what if something more intangible than the human force causes such tragedies? Just like in a myth. The exhibited engine sculpture is made of marble, a material historically used in preserving iconic figures, similar to one’s fate upon encountering the gaze of Medusa. What if Medusa stares at the engine and petrified the machine, causing the crash of the plane?

Sophia Schultz Rocha


Re-Story-Ation is a short film that investigates relationships and synchronicities between humans and nature using the landscape and the body to look at restoration, species loneliness, and agency. The film follows various stages of the potential storytelling of nature through humans (holding, seeing, listening, speaking, and sharing) as well as various forms of reciprocal support.

Gabriel Vallecillo Márquez


In Honduras, students who protest against the corrupt regime use their desks and chairs to block raid police from entering their classrooms. The government, in turn, uses the media.

Jan van Esch & Nicolás Concha


Give and take is an ongoing cycle, like societal glue. Those who give and close the road to receive put a spell on this reciprocal cycle. It becomes an act of cleansing and denying a social bond because we know from the poems of the Scandinavian Edda that ‘a present given always expects one in return’.

Jonas Vansteenkiste


“scar tissue”: The war changed the look and feel of the city drastically. First of all the city was bombed leaving a random scar on the then existing city. After the war the wall divided the city in two parts and left in this way a new scar upon the city. These are the elements that the artist wants to research in Berlin. 

"Fractum Domum" uses architectural ornaments as a motive. The use of the typical 19th-century ornament is not a random one, it makes a reference to the use of floral motives and makes the bridge to the content.The intervention will create the illusion that nature will claim culture back. By putting this work in the public domain it activates a more layered dialoge, a Palimpsest one.

Andrew Wilson


Each of us make sense of things in different ways, we each have a distinctive conceptual world of our own. But if we share no concepts with others, how can we possibly hope to create a social world together?

Following his video collage-essay, NASA LIE THE EARTH IS FLAT NO CURVE - created for OPENHAUS in June 2019 - artist Andrew Wilson (UK) has spoken with many people to identify a broad range of singular and independent conceptual worlds.

These conversations have been weaved together as a visual/sound collage that invites the viewer to interpret any shared or contradictory maps of meaning.

Aiwen Yin


Following her essay “Urbanizing the digital: Call for actions”, Yin will host a series of workshops to explore alternative ways to design the architecture of the digital space which focus on the users’ collective right. The first workshop will focus on relationship archetypes as the center of the user experience, and how the shift of focus will result into different design principles.

This residency is funded by the Mondriaan fonds

Zona Dynamic


The Zona Sessions is an experimental “artist laboratory” focused on co-creative structures and cross-disciplinary exchange. The laboratory is an hybrid format between an arts residency and a workshop which promotes the creation of a temporary artists collective as structure for cross disciplinary exchange and collaborative research. The collective is composed of 8 people, all artists and cultural practitioners residing in Amman or Berlin. 

The first iteration of the Zona Sessions called "Titled Excuse me – I think I lost something" here in Amman investigated questions such as: How is public space dealt with and reflected in suppressed movements and emotions? What is the connection between emotion, identity, and performance in public space? and explored the political and social implications of collaborative being and collaborative making.

The second iteration "Caution: SLIPPERY GROUNDS" at ZKU will pick up where the first iteration in Amman stopped and use the urban fabric of Berlin as a playground to test the ideas that were pre-formed in Amman about gendered public spaces in Berlin. Would there be similar places that make us vulnerable? Would there be areas that we cannot access because of our identities or self-expression?

Kristina Miller

Universum Center

The high-rise Universum Center, located in southern Germany, was considered a showpiece building of the 1960s. The building – so designed by Stuttgart architect A.H. Wein – was intended to be an elite cosmos of itself and followed the city-within-a-city principle. The 22-story, nearly 60-meter-high building contains 121 apartments and 41 stores, an atrium with a fountain, and a terrace.

Similar to the novel High Rise by J. G. Ballad, the building underwent its own transformation over the decades, culminating in anarchy and class struggle. Riots broke out between the residents distributed on the floors according to social hierarchy. The pent- house floor, privatized on the 22nd floor, is accessible via its own elevator, while the remaining 21 floors are characterized by poverty, prostitution and violent crime. The former jewelry stores in front of the gambling casinos have been weakened.

The building and its residents have struggled to recover from a fire at a former bowling center in the basement, and the building's foundation is shaking. These developments can be understood as a parable of a desolidarized society.