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KW Institute for Contemporary Art

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Address: Auguststrasse 69, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Phone Number: +49 30 2434590
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Closed now
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Wed - Mon 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Description: KW Institute for Contemporary Art is a place for the production and...
KW Institute for Contemporary Art is a place for the production and presentation of contemporary art, where the pressing questions of our time can be openly formulated and discussed. It is a center for the introduction of recent developments in national and international contemporary culture, and for further development, working together with artists and institutions, and commissioning new work. As an institution for contemporary art without a collection of its own, but also without the specific mandate of a member-based art association, KW has a high degree of flexibility in creating its programs and addressing its audience. It is a resource both for the people who make active use of it, and for those who participate in it as visitors. The building complex in Berlin's centre includes exhibition halls, function rooms, offices, and a cafe, alongside apartments and studios, and provides a space for encounters and exchanges. KW has gained importance as a centre for contemporary art ever since. Aside from an internationally oriented exhibition program and presentations by artists from Berlin and other German cities, KW has regularly cooperated with a range of partners, including the Venice Biennial, CLUB BERLIN (1995) and documenta X, HYBRID WORKSPACE (1997). KW has also collaborated for many years with the MoMA PS1 in New York, one of the most high-profile institutions for contemporary art worldwide. History KW Institute for Contemporary Art was founded in the early 1990s by Klaus Biesenbach and a group of young individuals with an interest in the arts, in a virtually derelict former margarine factory in Berlin-Mitte. Since its establishment, it has come to be seen more than any other institution as a symbol of Berlin's development into an international centre of contemporary art since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The heritage-listed front building from the early 18th century and the factory facility, dating back to the 1870s, were renovated in the mid-1990s with support from the national urban heritage conservation program, the Berlin Lotto Foundation, and the Heritage Foundation. The existing complex was extended with two new buildings: Cafe Bravo pavilion, designed by the American artist Dan Graham, and realized in cooperation with the architect Johanne Nalbach; and the 400 square-meter exhibition hall in the rear wing, designed by Berlin architect Hans Duttman. Upon its reopening in the fall of 1999, KW had 2.000 square meters of exhibition space on five floors, several studios in the side wings, and one of the finest courtyards in Berlin-Mitte.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great Mitte Contemporary

This place is well worth seeking out. They have a changing programme of installations, which include a range of disciplines. At the moment there's some excellent video and sound... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed January 3, 2015
Chris A
Manchester, United Kingdom
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015

Spread across a few floors of large gallery spaces. Would be brilliant if there was a more comprehensive shop in addition to the few books available.

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
22 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015

This place is well worth seeking out. They have a changing programme of installations, which include a range of disciplines. At the moment there's some excellent video and sound work on the ground floor, running till mid January 2015, called Site Visit, which is immersive and very funny! Well recommended.

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Budapest, Hungary
2 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2014

I love contemporary art, and this wasn't art at all. Maybe just contemporary. It was not only small (3 artists), but also extremely boring and meaningless.

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

Okay, so I am into all types of art, and some contemporary stuff, like most people, I don't get. My partner is an artist, and understands some of these inexplicable exhibitions more than i do, but here we were both in agreement that the work was great. Almost hidden away through a little alleyway, the KW is a respected Contemporary... More 

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Cape Town Central, South Africa
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

Loved the mix of different media installations and the audio exhibition. So much to see. Each floor was an inspiration with some eye-opening and thought provoking artworks. The Birch Trees planted in the courtyard were an amazing addition as a symbol peace and reconciliation .

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Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

Very good review is based on the food in the cafe, they had a lovely club sandwich and tuna salad (service was a bit slow) sadly we were there in August and there was no art currently on, so sad faces all round. Seems like a legit place for art... in season.

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Paris, France
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Great location, good atmosphere, interesting changing exhibitions. WELL WORTH the visit! It's a refreshing place among many outdated and noisy museums, offering a fresh outlook on the contemporary european art scene.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

I visited around Berlin Art Week, when there were a couple of great painting exhibitions on, as well as some more performative pieces which I think are more the gallery's norm. The show I saw was curated in a really imaginative way and had a couple of events alongside it (including talks about painting from a makeshift podium). In short,... More 

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New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

Nice light lunch in courtyard, Delicious chili (yes chili) with simple salad also great cake and coffee. Also simple sandwiches, Nice spot after gallery hopping.

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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

My friend and have been doing something of a modern art tour through europe and had read the wonderful reviews on trip advisor and other blogs so we went to check it out. This institute is unfinished as of July 3rd, 2013. There was an exhibit with 6 pieces in the basement, then two empty floors. On the third floor... More 

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Staying in Mitte

Neighborhood Profile
The center of Berlin, Mitte is most famous for sights like the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz, and Museum Island. The central location makes this one of the city's most expensive places to live. It is here the oldest traces of the city can be found, and evidence of some significant transformations, as well. The gangsters that once ruled the impoverished streets between Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt have given way to an international crowd pursuing fashionable designer clothes, the newest food trends and frequenting the many craft shops. Graphic designers have taken up residence in what used to be backyard barns and stables. There are still vestiges of the old days, however. The occasional housing complex is a reminder of the neighborhood’s past. And if you look carefully, an old 1920s ball house nestled amongst the art galleries and exhibitions of Auguststrasse can still teach you how to dance the old fashioned way.
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