David Berkel

Former House 54

Title image of Former House 54
Former House 54 (installation view), 2017


Former House 54 is the entitlement for a temporaray environment being installed in a former listed house in the North of Berlin, Alt-Reinickendorf. The around 1890 constructed building as such had been used as rental buildung together with an abattoir in the early 60ies. In that time the stuccowork was obviously removed from the building’s facade. Closing the last store around the 80ies or rather 90ies the house remained abondoned a long time. Out of its ongoing, apparent decay since that time the building lost its status of an architectural monument in recent years. In 2016, when I hit upon that abondoned house during my way home, I used three yet accessible rooms of the front building after the owner consented me to use the space for a temporary environment.

I installed several sculptures, that totally corresponded to the surrounding for my objects consists of plaster, brick stones and concrete as well. Furthermore I selected my paintings in accordance to the space, that is the images sort of incorporated the decaying, transitory quality of the building’s ephemeral substance. Albeit I did not create my work on-the-spot you had the impression as if the objects and images were some kind of extension of that space.


However, the building itself as well as the cottage in the backyard were demolished in 2017. Since then the place has been speculative waste land. Although my former, site-specific installation did not bring up the question about gentrification directly, this topic remained present all the time.