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Artists transform an old bank into a temporary gallery in Berlin

ATMs and tellers have been swapped for murals, sculptures and installations in an empty bank in Berlin.

Over 160 artists from across the globe have helped to turn the 10,000 sqm disused building on Kurfürstendamm into a vibrant art gallery – but it will only last until demolition day on 31 May.

The Haus is a temporary art project initiated by Berlin street art crew Kimo von Rekowski, Joern Reiners and Marco Bollenbach, also known as Die Dixons.

‘The spot is amazing,’ said von Rekowski. ‘It’s in the commercial heart of Berlin and we had five floors to cover with graffiti and art. Nobody expected something like this here.’

Berlin Art Bank – The Haus
Artwork by Superbadboys, courtesy of The Haus

Die Dixons found the empty building last year, and approached its Cologne-based owner Pandion about using the space as a temporary gallery before its demolition, which will make way for a condo development.

The trio called up their artist friends and acquaintances to get involved in the project and assigned them each a space inside the building. The only restriction? They couldn’t create a piece that perpetuated hate messages.

In exchange, artists received materials, accommodation in the city and beer. Their artworks will all be documenting in a forthcoming book on the exhibition.

Berlin Art Bank – The Haus
Artwork by Dr Molrok, courtesy of The Haus

Artworks are disparate: there’s a room covered from floor to ceiling with 400 kg of moss – a comment on the ‘green washing’ of companies by artist Señor Schnu. A hallway between bathrooms is transformed into an immersive 3D tape installation that glows in the dark by Guillermo S Quintana. Even the bathrooms are sheathed in art.

But don’t expect to see the images plastered all over social media. The Haus has a strict no photography policy and visitors have to put their phones in an opaque plastic bag upon entering. This is to encourage visitors to focus on experiencing the artworks, rather than the documentation of it.

‘The Haus has become a kind of museum, But that wasn’t our goal,’ says von Rekowski. ‘Our goal was to put urban art in a new space and bring it to another level.’

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