21.-22. August / 25.-26. September / 14. November

Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum 2021

“Return” can mean “to come back” as well as “profit” or “yield.” This dual meaning sets the tone in terms of content and program for this year’s exhibition series at Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum. 

The artist collective KUNSTrePUBLIK, focused since 2012 on establishing its Center for Art and Urbanism (ZK/U) in Moabit, now returns to an area in the center of Berlin, which was razed by bombing in World War II then—as a part of the “death strip” or “no man’s land” along the Berlin Wall—separated East and West Berlin during the Cold War era. Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, this inner-city wasteland between Spittelmarkt and Moritzplatz remained unused for many years. Since 2006, this area of more than 5 hectares has established itself as the Sculpture Park Berlin_Zentrum. Until 2010 four exhibition series were realised here comprising around thirty temporary art projects, various discursive events, and accompanying publications. Each series took a fresh thematic angle on the functional, formal, historical, and sociocultural conditions of the site, in the light of its particular situation.

Today, the former Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum is entirely built up, except for one small patch of wasteland. Only one house was still standing there in 2006, but the new development now houses around 3'000 residents. The return of KUNSTrePUBLIK sheds light on paradigmatic developments at the site and simultaneously examines the overall social impact of the new “residential quarter.” 

The real estate developers have created new values. Which characteristics and added value have come about? What has been upgraded, and for whose benefit? Can any of the results be regarded as beneficial for the city? Which value chains and economic effects have been generated there, and with which positive or negative consequences for society as a whole? Does the new residential development on the site really function as a brand-new neighborhood? What is missing there, and who gets to define that?

Today, only very few of the new residents on this former wasteland know that their apartments are located in a sculpture park and that they too are thus a sculptural component in an overarching narrative. One could argue that the new development is one of the world’s most voluminous twenty-first-century sculptures. The Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum has evolved as a kind of “museum island,” on which the new residents and their lifescapes are assembled as the main exhibits in a model contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk: a social sculpture of the present day, hidden behind the stage-set-like facades of so-called investor architecture, such as can be found in many places in Berlin and worldwide. 

As a prototype for many places in contemporary metropolises, we have created here on the grounds of the Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum a model for investigating processes of transformation steered by the market economy—a real-time laboratory dedicated to artistic and scientific exploration.

The RE-TURN exhibition series will unfold over the course of five months, from August to December 2021. Highlights are scheduled for three weekends—in August (Aug. 21–22), September (Sept. 25–26) and November (Nov. 14)—when new projects will be launched. The projects are accompanied and expanded upon through workshops, lectures and performances.


21. August 2021

Workshop Neighborhood Value Creation Workshop (Circles)

with Julio Linares

Performance Turn it back!

with Folke Köbberling

FALLOUT. A performative site inspection

with Balz Isler

22. August 2021

Workshop Neighborhood Value Creation Workshop (Circles)

with Julio Linares

Global Finance Walk - Offshore Tour Operator

With RYBN & Laura Calbet

25. September 2021

Sound Installation: Keine Wohnungsnoth mehr!

with Zorka Wollny

Performance Turn it back!

with Folke Köbberling


a film shoot with Lukas Matthaei & Team


with Sebastian Quack

Lecture: New Zuhd/Minimal Punk: Anarchism, Barbarism, Islamic Chaos & Kurt Cobain

with Saud Al-Zaid

26. September 2021


with Sebastian Quack

Sound Installation: Keine Wohnungsnoth mehr!

with Zorka Wollny

Lecture: Pink Cell Tower

with Daniel Irrgang

Return of the Pumpkin

with Kai Schiemenz

14. November 2021

Participatory sculpture AIRNSHARE

with Doris Dziersk

Daseins Zentrum: Kämme mein Haar; Fakten und Poesie

with KUNSTrePUBLIK & Boris Jöns

Guided walk: Berlin muss seine Altstadt wieder aufbauen!

with Martin Conrads

Film Screening

with Lydia Karagiannaki, live performance with Bitsy Knox and Marco Schröder / item

Film Imitation of Life : remake berlin

with Lukas Matthaei & Team


Curatorial Board

Ela Kagel
Edit Molnár
Arved Schultze 
Joanna Warsza


Kati Simon (Koordination)
Lea Schleiffenbaum (Programm)
Alexander Callsen (Produktion)
Lars Hayer (Web Development)
image-shift (Gestaltung)

The Re-Turn exhibition series is supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin.