x-embassy is a collectively run off-space located on the first floor of the Atelierhaus Australische Botschaft Ost.
Established in June 2017, x-embassy initiated an ongoing series of public events for externally invited artists and other initiatives. The series offers multiple formats, from mini-exhibitions, to workshops, video screenings, performances and artist talks.
The programme reflects the collective’s diverse practices and the interests of their communities. An emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary, experimental formats.
To our knowledge, x-embassy is the first and only collectively run art offspace in Pankow.
Current members of the collective come from the fields of visual art, film, graphic design, photography, theatre and dance, and include:
Grabbeallee 34, 13156 Berlin-Pankow
Tram: M1 / Bus: 250
Enter via spiral staircase on the right-hand side of building
About the building
In 1972, following the normalisation of East-West German diplomatic relations, the then-Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam (Labour) announced his plans to open an embassy in East Germany. The building complex – including garden and tennis court – was completed in 1975. It was home to the Australian Embassy for East Berlin until 1986, when Australia consolidated its diplomatic seats for the Soviet bloc in Warsaw.
The embassy’s architect, Horst Bauer (1928-), also designed Berlin’s iconic Cafe Moskau (1964) on Karl Marx Allee. Like many other GDR embassies built according to the prefabricated ‘Ingenieur-Hochbau Berlin’ model, the building has an almost-identical copy. Its twin, the former Iraqi embassy, is located close by on Tschaikovskistr. Both buildings contain screen elements by the ceramicist Hedwig Bollhagen (1907-2001) as a part of Germany’s ‘Kunst-am-Bau’ (‘art-in-architecture’) programme.
In 2015, the former Australian embassy to the GDR was set to be demolished. At the last minute, however, the building was placed under heritage listing by the Pankow city council and is thus preserved to the present day.