Freigänger/Open Prison

Welcome to the opening of the exhibition Freigänger/Open Prison in The Knast, a former women’s prison in Berlin – Lichterfelde, on 28 June 2019 at 7 pm!

On the last weekend in June this year, 50 Norwegian, German and Berlin-based artists will take possession of the former women’s prison The Knast in Berlin:

David Edward Allen, Gunvor Nervold Antonsen, Øyvind Aspen, George Barber, Anita di Bianco, Per Christian Brown, Peder Bugge, Dania Burger, Katja Burlyga, Sebastian Dacey, Anders Eiebakke, Birthe Endrejat, Marius Engh, Johannes Esper, Heike Gallmeier, Crispin Gurholt, BKH Gutmann, Damian Heinisch, Anna Jakob, Jens Jürgen, Heiko Kalmbach, Michael Kirkham, Wolf von Kries, Kaja Leijon, Solveig Lønseth, Jannicke Låker, Zora Mann, Matthias Mansen, Randi Nygård, Pikblod, Pfelder, Lars Ø. Ramberg, Claudia Reinhardt, Øyvind Renberg, Nando Schneider, Martin Skauen, Skitzosatan, Kristian Skylstad, Bente Stokke, Eirin Støen, Per Teljer, Lars Monrad Vaage, Marian Wijnvoord, Susanne Winterling, Sverre Wyller, Simone Zaugg and Munan Øvrelid

Freigänger/Open Prison is initiated and curated by Crispin Gurholt and Helga-Marie Nordby.

Øyvind Renberg installation views:

New work by Øyvind Renberg in Freigänger, City, 2019, animation 15 min, HD video:

The prison provides the contextual and physical frame for Freigänger/Open Prison, but the artists who have been invited to participate have been free to choose their artistic response.
The exhibition reflects on different forms of captivity and loss of freedom, but also on an unavoidable question: What is freedom?

The woman’s prison – built in 1906 and in operation until 2007 – was in its final years a Freigänger or ‘open prison’, meaning that inmates were allowed to leave the premises at certain times, as part of the process of reintegrating into society. The Knast is now a registered heritage site, and the section the prisoners lived in is still intact, with cells on three floors.

As a response to the phenomenon and concept of open prisons, a kind of limited freedom with a certain amount of control, the curators initially invited 25 artists to participate. Each one was then allowed to invite one other artist. This ‘snowball sampling’ has resulted in a heterogeneous and exciting group of 50 Freigänger-artists. On the last weekend in June, the artists will take possession of each their own cell and present specially-produced works using media such as installation, video, sound, painting, drawing, sculpture, performance and photography.

The exhibition lasts only the one weekend, 28–30 June 2019, and will be officially opened by Norway’s ambassador to Germany, Petter Ølberg, on Friday, 28 June, at 7 pm.

Freigänger/Open Prison is also the springboard for a publication that will be launched during Frankfurter Buchmesse – the Frankfurt Book Fair – this year, for which Norway is the ‘Guest of Honour’. The editors for the publication are Ruby Paloma and Nicolas Siepen. Paloma and Siepen have also curated the film programme Freigänger/Outlaw, which will be shown on Saturday, 29 June, 12–6 pm, in the prison chapel. Freigänger is supported by NORLA and Fritt Ord.

Exhibition opening hours:
Friday, 28 June, 7–10 pm
Saturday, 29 June, 12–6 pm
Sunday, 30 June, 12–6 pm

Address: The Knast, Söthstrasse 7, 12203 Berlin

For further information, please contact Crispin Gurholt or Helga-Marie Nordby