Wo der Ort beginnt


Kunsthaus Dahlem

In the spring of 2015, NBR investigates the location of what will become Kunsthaus Dahlem prior to its official opening – the former state studio of Nazi sculptor Arno Breker. An exhibition series in seven chapters.

In the lead-up to the inauguration of Kunsthaus Dahlem, a guest program by Neue Berliner Räume brings attention to the historical dimension of the place, as well as its present and future undertaking. As a whole, the program endeavours to open out the place along these lines of inquiry. Through this, the individual curatorial and artistic contributions presented demarcate, bit by bit, a possible direction.


In mid-1939, construction work began in the Berlin region of Dahlem on a spacious studio complex for the sculptor Arno Breker. In previous years, Breker had taken on significant public commissions for the National Socialist regime, and the “state studio” on the edge of Grunewald Forest marked his definitive rise as one of the most influential artists of the Third Reich. From 1942, the expansive building was ready for use. Significantly, it was here that those monumental sculptures were to be produced, which Breker was tasked to create as part of the planned fundamental transformation of Berlin. However, despite the substantial completion of the house, Breker would use it only rarely. In 1945, work stored onsite was confiscated and the studio closed.


Not long after the end of World War Two, the building was reopened as a set of artists’ studios. Over the following decades it was to be used as a living and working space for artists: Ouhi Cha, Jimmie Durham and Dorothy Iannone, among others, spent significant creative periods here, and are in this way connected to the site, as was Bernhard Heiliger – a student of Arno Breker – who worked onsite in Dahlem from 1949 through to his death. After this, the Bernhard Heiliger Foundation was founded and occupied a section of the building from 1996. The closure of the studio program in 2011 marked the end of an important chapter in the building’s history.


This year, after lengthy discussion, a re-dedication of the historic site will take place with the inauguration of Kunsthaus Dahlem. Following a renovation process undertaken in accordance with heritage-listing guidelines, the exhibition space will now devote itself towards developments in the post-war Modernist art of East and West Germany. Neue Berliner Räume’s guest program accompanies the space in the final weeks before its official opening, extending into its first exhibition in summer, 2015.


Each contribution of the program indicates a point from which the place begins.


Where the Place Begins

Vajiko Chachkhiani, Amir Fattal, Sonja Hornung, Lynne Marsh, Alessandro Rauschmann, Sonya Schönberger, Dan Stockholm, Lukas Töpfer, Gernot Wieland


6 April 2015 to 22 April 2016

Kunsthaus Dahlem

Käuzchensteig 8-12

14195 Berlin


Curatorial assistance:
Aap Tepper


In collaboration with

Kunsthaus Dahlem


Funded by

Kulturamt Steglitz-Zehlendorf aus Mitteln des Bezirkskulturfonds des Landes Berlin


Media partner

Berlin Art Link



Monday 6 April 2015

Where the Place Begins / One
To mark a path
A digital archive compiled by: Sylvia Sadzinski, Valerie Senden, Aap Tepper und Manuel Wischnewski


Although bound to a specific geographical point, places nonetheless shift in a dense net of coordinates that is only partially visible. Neue Berliner Räume undertakes an inventory of sorts, which leads to various places that are connected to the location of Kunsthaus Dahlem and its history. For a short window of time, a purpose-built, curated digital archive will be opened.



Monday 27 April 2015

Where the Place Begins / Two
Comfortable, in Spite of the Comfort
Sonja Hornung


Comfortable, in spite of the comfort is an edition of postcards featuring selected works on a museum. The postcards will be available starting April 27th at Kunsthaus Dahlem.



Friday 8 May 2015

Where the Place Begins / Three
André & Arno
Sonya Schönberger
Actors: Lisa Scheibner and Mariel Jana Supka


Müller: There is nothing to excuse. The inexcusable has occurred. What I accept is your suffering, your despair, your attempts to think.

Breker: Yes, you perhaps believe I am not suffering? You can’t get a smiling photo from me today.


The site-specific documentary performance André & Arno will focus on an 1979 interview between the journalist Andre Müller and the sculptor Arno Breker – for whom the former state studio was built between 1939 and 1942.



Monday 11 May 2015

Where the Place Begins / Four



Saturday 23 May 2015

Where the Place Begins / Five
Stone is Laid on Stone

With contributions by Vajiko Chachkhiani, Amir Fattal, Lynne Marsh, Alessandro Rauschmann, Sonya Schönberger, Sonja Hornung, Dan Stockholm, Lukas Töpfer, Gernot Wieland (and others).


In the fifth and central part of the series ‘Where the Place Begins’, Neue Berliner Räume invites the audience to a wide-ranging program at Kunsthaus Dahlem. The evening picks up on the paths taken by previous projects, and gives further space to a more concentrated dialogue with the space itself.



From 26 May 2015

Where the Place Begins / Six
Many Lives Pass By While Imitating Death

Vajiko Chachkhiani


A collaboration between Free University of Berlin and Kunsthaus Dahlem.



Tuesday 2 May 2015

Where the Place Begins / Seven
Die Zukunft hat Zeit

Curated by: Lukas Töpfer


‘Die Zukunft hat Zeit’ consists of an exhibition and an accompanying publication. The exhibition took place on June 2nd at Kunsthaus Dahlem – without “works” and without audience. The publication will document the exhibition and can be purchased starting June 14th at www.neueberlinerraeume.de, or at the Kunsthaus Dahlem museum shop.