Kotti Shop

Berlin: Kotti-Shop / Stefan Endewardt and Julia Brunner

The Kotti-Shop is an experimental, non-profit art and project space in Berlin that has been led by Annette Knol and Stefan Endewardt since 2008. It is located at Kottbusser Tor, on the ground floor of the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum, and regularly hosts exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and concerts. The Kotti-Shop is distinguished by its strong connection with and role in the neighborhood. It is a playful, experimental space, a space of orientation and activity especially for many children at the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum. Workshops with local residents artistically create “viable utopias” and future visions for the “Kotti” district and its residents. The Kotti-Shop is not merely a project space within its physical architecture, but also a point of departure for larger-scale artistically collaborative projects in Germany and abroad, such as, for example, project weeks in Berlin schools, drawing festivals, workshops, and participatory art projects in other art and project spaces.

Project Idea and Objective

In “Kotti L’Amour_We Decide How We Reside,” residents of “Kotti” will undertake an active examination of their living and housing environment.This exploration of spaces and areas of tension in the social fabric will be based on the idea of the game of “go,” in which the players place black and white stones to mark off areas of the playing field, trying to expand and maintain control of them.

Over the course of the workshops series, we will grapple with these spaces by means of a detailed mapping of Kottbusser Tor. This process will extend into the individual living environment of each participant.“Kotti” is a diverse and multilayered location in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district with an almost mythic reputation as a space of possibilities. It is at once a place of residence and of work, a transportation hub, and a magnet for visitors – a microcosm unto itself.Thousands of people live here and hundreds come here daily for a wide range of reasons. This leads to opportunities, tensions, and conflicts.

With the idea of the perfect space in mind, we will enter into an open process of taking stock of, and developing visions for, this place. We will formulate models of (crisis) communication and practicable utopias using mappings, soundscapes, collages, experimental short films, interviews, camera obscura photographs, poster campaigns, sculptural interventions, and sound art.

The results of the workshops will be archived in a spatially engaging multimedia installation in the Kotti-Shop. In a parallel but contrasting approach, targeted urban interventions will use humor in an attempt to help improve conditions in the area’s housing and living environment.The project “Kotti L’Amour_We Decide How We Reside” will be developed by a team of residents and users, young and old, of the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum (NKZ) .

Artists

The artist and architect Stefan Endewardt has worked in the field of creative tension between art, architecture, and cultural education for over ten years. The focus of his work is art projects with a participatory approach, for and with people of all age groups. He conducts mostly workshop-based projects which result in collaborative, collage-like multimedia installations. Before attaining his architectural degree in 2012 at the Technische Universität Berlin, he helped establish the alternative cultural center Raumerweiterungshalle. Since 2008, with Annette Knol, he has headed the Kotti-Shop, an art and project space in the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum in Berlin. He is also a member of the artists’ group TRANSFORM.

Julia Brunner actually planned to become a journalist. She began studying German at the University of Bayreuth and in 2009 obtained her master’s degree at the University of Delaware. After her return to Germany, her path eventually led to radio, the field of sound in general, and to storytelling. Today she lives and works in Berlin as a freelance storyteller and tells stories in images and sound. Her repertoire in the audio sphere ranges from contributions for radio to sound-art pieces and sound installations, and to sound workshops in participatory artistic projects. In her sound works and photographs, she is interested in, among other things, the subject of boundaries and spaces: places in which boundaries become visible, as well as people who live and move along boundaries, balance on them, transgress them, and who know no bounds to the possibilities of creating and shaping spaces.

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