(Clément Layes in: The Watch, 2017).
A trace from the border apparatus during the division of the city, the former GDR watchtower on Schlesischer Busch has a long tradition of cultural and artistic production ever since Reunification. Under the care of Flutgraben e.V. since 2004, the building has hosted several exhibitions, talks, screenings, and residencies.
In recent years, the building has become a place for reflection rather than mere production: artists, writers, choreographers, and other thinkers have been invited to spend time within and around the tower to think about the building’s texture, its history, its future, as well as its present position within Berlin’s cultural and political landscape. More than a remnant from the Cold War, it is a container for the conflicting narratives of the past 30 years, and even serves as projection surface for the future. The tower appears as quickly as it disappears, squeezed in on the one hand by an area of fast-paced gentrification, and in limbo on the other – its dormant energy therefore carries desires and failures, breathing in, breathing out.
The Watch invites producers to take time to watch, observe, contemplate and inhabit the tower, to adopt the building’s passivity, and watch - watch for, over, or out.
The Watch consists of a group of artists and cultural producers working on a voluntary basis. Every year this group decides on the thematic content, formats, and programming of the watchtower either through direct invitations or open calls.
The Watch has been awarded the Project Space Prize from the Berliner Senate in 2020. Thanks for the kind support!
In 2020 we gladly received the support from Berlin-Treptow to start building up an archive on the ground floor and build new furnitures for the artists in residence in collaboration with Raumlabor.