XXIV. ROHKUNSTBAU: Achtung ‒ Mind the Gap

It is a strange occurrence, perhaps, that a public transport service announcement is the naming concept that will form and develop an international exhibition. But just as this familiar public announcement warns the public of the gap between the train or bus and the platform, it evokes “to mind” which is to say, to take care, be aware of, or be alert to the potential of an immediate and incipient danger. Similarly, the use of “the gap” is suggestive of a space that is a dangerous rift, a potential rupture or cause of injury, an unresolved state of the in-between. This year’s subject for XXIV. Rohkunstbau: “Achtung – Mind the Gap” (at Schloss Lieberose) follows on from last year’s XXIII. Rohkunstbau: “Die Schönheit im Anderen – The Beauty of Difference”, an exhibition that sought to celebrate international human and creative diversity by embracing notions of difference and otherness. This year’s exhibition is yet more seriously self-reflexive and perhaps nearer to home. It addresses an increasing phenomenon across contemporary Europe, namely the dangerous arguments or expanded fields of rupture and disassociation that are taking place. Whether speaking in terms of the effects of worldwide international/global conflicts versus local conflicts, or those expressed as regions against the nation state (Catalonia, or the Basque Region in Spain), attempts at dissolving pre-existing national unities (Scotland and the United Kingdom), or other types of internal ethnic competitiveness or linguistic divisions – urban and rural, town and country, city and periphery – each aspect has generated rifts and the anxieties of disunity. It follows therefore, that an increased sense of intellectual and emotional self-analysis of motivations comes to the fore. The artists in the 2018 Rohkunstbau exhibition are asked what these “gaps” and spaces between the personal and the collective are, to engage with issues of tension, perceived identities and associations, and to come up with ideas that respond to and evaluate the current situation across Europe’s nation states and beyond. If the 2017 Rohkunstbau celebrated cultural diversity and difference, it follows that alternative positive assertions need to be created and understood in relation to current anxieties about difference and assimilation. The artists are asked less to engage with the simple polemic of the subject, more to aim for a creative synthesis of visual suggestions that better facilitates openness and integration, leading to a greater understanding of the differences that are exposed.


Eleven international artists Nine individual artists and one artist duo will undertake this task, submitting a concept or idea as to how they feel the issues elucidated above might be addressed. And, as the title of the exhibition suggests, the works will need to touch upon the different ways that these socio-cultural rifts might be addressed in the context of today’s European disunity.


Laura Bruce

USA (painting and sculpture)

Martin Dammann

Germany (painting)

GODsDOGs (Britta & Ron Helbig)

Germany (painting and installation)

Nilbar Güreş

Turkey (conceptual)

Holly Hendry

United Kingdom (sculpture)

Magdalena Jetelová    

Czech Republic (installation and sculpture)

Roman Korovin

Latvia (photography)

Zofia Kulik

Poland (film and video)

Kate McMillan        

United Kingdom/ Australia (video art)

Christopher Winter

United Kingdom (painting and drawing)


Mark Gisbourne
March 2018

Past exhibitions

Mirror of Alterity

Refugees and the Fear of the Other. Contemporary art from Middle and Eastern Europe. What has been a scandal in Bratislava – now to see in Berlin!

Europe has become a refuge for the disregarded and persecuted people in the regions of war and conflict all over the world. The whole of Europe? No, a big part of European populations is frightened by strangers and refuses to welcome refugees. The fear of the unknown stirs up emotions and partly evokes xenophobic affects. Especially in Eastern parts of Europe, a majority of the populations balk at the reception of refugees – while their governments make use of this tense atmosphere by strengthening an increasingly populist and authoritarian style of politics.

Rohkunstbau XXII - Between the Worlds

ROHKUNSTBAU XXII takes up a statement made by Kofi Annan, the former General Secretary of the UN: “There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. The title Zwischen den Welten – Between the Worlds relates firstly, at a metaphorical level, to the transitional phase from childhood and youth to adulthood, a period of incubation which seems to be prolonged more and more these days as part of an “infantilisation of society”.

Rohkunstbau XIX. MORAL

Against the backdrop of Richard Wagners "Valkyrie", ten international artists dealt with "Moral". Their location-based works question universal ethics as a motif for societal and individual conflicts.

Rohkunstbau XVIII. POWER

For XVIII. Rohkunstbau, ten visual artists from five nations dealt with imagery and interpretations, with consequences and misuse of power. Their exhibits convey greatly diverse conceptions of power.