The ZK/U concept and practice were initiated by the artist collective and non-profit organization KUNSTrePUBLIK e.V. . The association managed to become the owner of the former railway depot and holds a 40 year lease on the ground. KUNSTrePUBLIK ‘s concepts and projects are equally focused on local involvement and global exchange.
Coming from non-institutional backgrounds, the founders aspire to continue exploring ways of collaborating, researching and creating, that go beyond the lines of existing structures and preconceptions. As part of their artistic practice, KUNSTrePUBLIK considers the development of ZK/U a long-term process that will evolve through the contributions and critical feedback expressed by its participants, partners and a diverse audience.
KUNSTrePUBLIK is a registered German non-profit organization „for the common good“. While not in receipt of fixed institutional funding, KUNSTrePUBLIK has been funded on a project basis by the European Cultural Fund, the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital City Cultural Fund), the Kunstfonds Foundation, and Bipolar, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
In November 2006 founding members, Matthias Einhoff, Philip Horst, Markus Lohmann, Harry Sachs and Daniel Seiple, inaugurated the open-air Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum on a former “no man‘s land” that was once part of the Berlin Wall: a 5-hectare unbuilt, city-center lot upon which numerous international artists have since carried out projects. Counter to traditional sculpture parks and public art, Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum encourages sculpture as a process that has the potential to reveal and critique the social, historical and structural contexts provided by the site. In 2008 the Skulpturenpark hosted the 5th Berlin Biennale, as one of its three main venues.
As part of the 2010 Werkleitz Festival, KUNSTrePUBLIK curated an international art in public space project, Angst in Form, which was supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. In addition to initiating and curating projects, the members of KUNSTrePUBLIK individually and collectively pursue their own art practices, teach and organize symposia and research projects on socio-political themes and spatial theory.