CNTRM Chapter 4

2018 Berlin

There was a human being, sitting in a little house all day. He saw skyscrapers and concrete walls, some trees, somewhere the sky. Maybe he was sitting there with a thermos flask and sausage sandwiches, looking, daydreaming and thinking. He waited like Gerhardt Hauptmann’s „Bahnwärter Thiel“. He pushed his barrier when a train was approaching. Our man opened the gate for trucks that delivered to the department store Centrum Warenhaus. Afterwards waiting began–again. Around this standstill of the person is the movement of the city and the goods that are constantly being delivered to this city.  In this stretched time of waiting, the images rush through the brain, the head cinema rattles. 

The cinema as such became successful at the same time as the department stores. It combines growth and its significance for culture and trade, the cultural industry itself in the 20th century. Online trade and streaming have changed consumption patterns. The transfer of goods remains globally networked as rarely before. Our human being in the house has given way to the changes of the times, to political systems and technological changes. His gatehouse stands still. Perhaps the doorman had films in his head, road movies in which truck drivers were asphalt cowboys and kings of the highways. In the late 1970s, when the Centrum department store opened, the highway kings also had their big time in the movie theaters. 

From the windows of the gatehouse, you can see a picture essay printed on a truck tarpaulin, in which Fabian Reimann brings together the world’s first department store, trucker films, aliens, fighting robots, zombies and more.

Fabian Reimann’s installation for Chapter 4 at CNTRM is an imagination of the seemingly timeless fantasies of the former guard of the Centrum department store, and at the same time mirrors the location and its function. However, Reimann doesn’t give us a rigid retrospective, but a vision of mobility and speed.

The gatekeeper pavilion near Berlin Ostbahnhof was opened again with Chapter 12 after more than 20 years and the process of renewal has started. The planned renovation will conclude with Chapter 1 in October 2018 and then present an impression of what the gatehouse looked like 40 years ago.

At the same time, CNTRM is designing a second story line with invited artists, which consists of ten exhibitions as the main act (Chapters 11 – 2). These artistic interventions refer to the respective state of renovation of the pavilion.

CNTRM is a project by Christof Zwiener