Thinking spaces in Berlin

The idea is the absolute, and all that is real is but the realization of the idea.

„Die Idee ist das Absolute, und alles Wirkliche ist nur Realisierung der Idee.“

Hegels primacy of the idea itself is something that lately seems to emerge in some spaces in Kreuzberg – the once left-alternative connotated today gentrificated quarter in Berlin. In this series I´d like to write about some of these spaces and my personal experiences with them. First, I start with a brand new one: the so called Denkerei/Amt für Arbeit an unlösbaren Problemen, a room thus, that with its title already claims the thought(s) as highest gift/commodity.

Not only after the discussion about the Guggenheim Lab, creative spaces are what everyone seems to talk about and thus I decided to take a walk around Kreuzberg to explore these spaces and find out, how the inquiry about the IDEA is manifested. Main-Initiator of the Denkerei, founded in late 2011, is Bazon Brock, famous for his often provocative arguments concerning arts, culture and day-to-day aesthetics in general. Together with Peter Sloterdijk he is not only into this project but these two Professors emeriti are also teaching/leading the academic studies “Der professionalisierte Bürger” (the professionalized citizen) at the HfG Karlsruhe.

Außenansicht DenkereiHence, could Bazon Brock be considered as a seal of quality for exciting arguments in this “Think Space”? Up till now the events taking place there (the last one: ants & dinosaur, a reading with Alexis Dworksy as well as a screening for Peter Sempels film “The ant of art”) haven´t caused much of a discussion, although Bazon Brock naturally had well-respected media like Deutschlandradio (tag!) on his side. But the actual goal of the Denkerei is to network with Kreuzberg and its inhabitants and thus there is a big button placed on the website, which says: suggestions for insolvable problems can be sent anytime per Email to or submitted personally to the Denkerei at Oranienplatz 2, Berlin. The insolvable problems will probably be evaluated from April 2012 on.

So I just walked there-  some insolvable problems one always has up one´s sleeve. The architecture of this spatiality suggests openness, e.g. the facade is glassy (with a few, more or less cryptical writings on it) and hence one steps inside. There: three older men – one of them Bazon Brock himself, another one looks a bit like a ringmaster – who instantly build up a wall of “Please do not disturb”: “Right now there are no events going on in here”. I explain to them, that I´ve just heard from this extraordinary Denkerei and would like to take a closer look at the space in which this thinking happens. Mellow mooded, the men start to talk about the aura of that space and allow that closer look. What I see is just leather-couches, armchairs and tables in red, brown and purple as well as over-dimensioned unfilled vases – all put together without any perceivable concept, disappointingly uninspiring. Under the men´s critical eyes – “do you already feel the aura, young lady?” – one does not feel his/her unsolvable problems in the right hands and tries to leave the space as fast as possible. Innovation and Networking-  maybe in the future? The risk of becoming a self-referred Old-Men-Club – already now!


Editor: Katharina Wolfrum


Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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