neue Gesellschaft
für bildende Kunst

Artists: image-shift (Sandy Kaltenborn, Athena Javanmardi, Paco Camberlin)
Billboards at the underground station Kottbusser Tor: July 11 – August 10, 2023
Online archive accessible via QR on billboards and advertising materials: July 11 - August 20
Guided walk: July 15, 7 pm

Credits: Silke Briel

Kottbusser Tor is one of Berlin’s best-known locations in and outside of the city. It is often portrayed negatively in the public discourse. In reality, the square is much more complex and diverse than media reports let on.

“Kotti” is home to a wide variety of historic currents, including the squatters’ movement, wholesale redevelopment, cautious urban renewal, all the way to social housing. Stories of migration, subcultures, and alternative art and music scenes are closely connected to this architectural space and its residents.

image-shift is a studio for communication design headquartered at “Kotti” that works at the intersection of artistic production, civic engagement, social movements, educational services and traditional graphic design. image-shift believes that there is no singular “Kotti”. The place is defined by the numerous perspectives of its residents and visitors, which make it the epitome of an urban space up for negotiation. This led to the online project Learning from Kotti (optimised for mobile phones). Through photos, infographics, quotes, and children’s drawings, image-shift shows viewers different perspectives and readings of Kottbusser Tor. The result is a fragmentary, poetic image of the square in Kreuzberg left consciously unfinished.


image-shift (Sandy Kaltenborn, Athena Javanmardi, Paco Camberlin)

image-shift was founded by Sandy Kaltenborn in 1999. Athena Javanmardi and Paco Camberlin have worked at the office since 2019. Kaltenborn is also a co-founder of the tenants’ association Mietergemeinschaft Kotti & Co. am Kottbusser Tor, a collaborator of the nGbK project. The communication design office works with cultural and educational institutions, foundations, artists and curators, filmmakers, video groups, associations and unions, as well as social and activist groups. Their work follows the notion that productive disruptions and social communication strategies can activate the internal logics and self-referential systems of various operations to foster communication and education.

 Credits: Silke Briel

Art in the Underground 2022/23:

Irene Fernández Arcas
Sunny Pfalzer
Julieta Ortiz de Latierro
Liminal Beast of Prey

→ Overview of the whole program