is a creative multi-purpose space in Wedding. It is run by a collective of creative people and is registered as a non-profit members organisation, a Verein. Its main aim is to promote experimental/fringe creativity in Berlin, as well as to offer an alternative meeting point for the up-and-coming creative scene of Wedding.
The Café, PANKE’s meeting Hub serves vegan/vegetarian food and coffee during the day and hosts different events in the evening in a friendly, warm environment. Additionally there are more than 150m2 space for exhibitions, Kino,Workshops, talks, theatre, art or music events and a garden to relax in summer alongside the river Panke.
The project was started in 2009 by Erika Siekstelyte and Justas Rudziaskas, who after being involved in various creative programmes in Vilnius, decided to move to Berlin to try something for a more challenging audience. Soon they were joined by a large number of people who work around Panke mostly as volunteers and the Panke collective was eventually created. Around this collective, Panke developed conceptually and as a space.
As of today, Panke consists of four main spaces:
The front room is Panke’s ‘daily’ space in which a café operates, vegan/vegeterian food is served and different events are hosted on particular days. This is Panke’s meeting hub, a friendly environment, in which Panke people meet and have a good time, discussing projects and ideas. We have worked very hard to make this a comfortable and warm space and it is frequently complimented as such. Occasionally the bar also hosts some of our smaller special events, such as one-off VJ-sets, acoustic music performances and workshops. The art and design of the bar space have all been gradually created by Panke people and so in that respect the image of our bar is a continuous work-in-progress.
The largest of our spaces, this is where Panke holds its bigger / more complex events. . This large space is dividable and different parts of it are used according to the needs of each event. The space is more than 100 square metres big and can easily accommodate 300 guests.
panke.gallery seeks to open up a local and international dialogue between established and emerging artists whose work comes out of the connections between digital or net-based art and club culture, especially in the recent history of Berlin. Its program of exhibitions and events takes place in a gallery space within the premises of panke.club.
Garden / Back Yard
Our pretty garden, which sees the river Panke, from which our name is taken, host outdoor events of various types and organize meals and fresh drinks. From October to April Panke bistro is opened Wednesday – Sunday from 12:00 to open-end; from April to October – from 18:00 to open-end. It has WiFi and is very sunny.
Panke’s areas of focus
Since its beginning, the Panke bar, club, cinema and gallery have hosted different events ranging widely, although always being interested in offering an alternative to mainstream culture.
Whereas all forms of creative expression are of interest for Panke, its main areas of focus can be summed up as:
Panke has presented a number of art events. The gallery hosts both traditional gallery openings and larger conceptual situational happenings. The bar is continuously re-decorated by local and international artists. The whole of Panke, including its hof and terrace is used to create interesting larger experiences, which are an attempt to escape the typical gallery setup.
We are interested in many different types of work from installation, sound and video art to more traditional fine art models and as such we have exhibited work that ranges from street art to interactive technological pieces to painterly abstract expressionism. The idea of Panke is not to limit creativity and promote a particular aesthetic, but to give a space of expression to individuals with different ideas. However, we are certainly more inclined towards featuring unknown, underground, experimental work than already established mainstream artists.
Music events are very central for the running of Panke, we offer a different platform for underground musicians and DJ’s. Despite our DIY ethos, we take sound quality very seriously and we have installed a sound setup that would cover the needs of even the most demanding electro-acoustic music aficionados. Aesthetics-wise, once more Panke tries to avoid offering what is already represented in Berlin (e.g. techno, house, disco, 4×4, etc) and to focus on lesser promoted genres, such as experimental electronic music, bass and wonky beats, certain strands of hip-hop, avant-garde, even free-jazz, noise and post-punk. Panke bar and club presented a few hundreds different music performers, DJs and sound artists, covering a wide variety of styles.
Although Panke does not have a permanent setup cinema room, during kino session we turn part of our gallery space into a screening room. At the moment we host several kino nights. More info:
Panke is interested in using technology to push boundaries of creativity and communication. Our relation with technology takes different approaches. We are interested in presenting creative work that deals with innovative up-to-date technology and have hosted a number of technological installations to do with kinetics and programming. Finally, we have a thing for ‘dead technologies’ and have featured artists and musicians who work with glitch, 8-bit, old platforms and technological ‘rubbish’ to recreate and transform them into something new.
This is one of the newer areas in which Panke has been involved, but one we are keen to develop and for which Panke is particularly suitable for, due to its large room’s abundant space. We have already established connections with some performance art groups and presented works by various performance artists.
Workshops / happenings
Panke is particularly interested in the give-and-take of ideas and the exchange of knowledge between its mitglieders and friends and we try to create the right conditions under which the creativity of our members can blossom. We don’t believe in the gap between artists and audience and want to encourage our mitglieders to engage in various interactive installations and workshops. Audiences can be frequently shy, but the situationist ethos of Panke usually creates a safe environment in which people are keen to develop their creativity.