Anna Jandt created a horse installation at the Berlin hotel. Photograph: Uwe Walter

A five-star hotel in Berlin has opened its doors to cash-strapped artists, asking them to pay for bed and board not with money but with a work of art.

The offer from the Hotel Marienbad in Auguststrasse is open to painters, sculptors or conceptual artists willing to “subject the hotel to permanent change” with their efforts.

Susanne Pfeffer, curator of the Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art, which set up the project, said: “As long as they come from outside Berlin and need a bed for the night, everyone is welcome, though we’ve got such a long waiting list that we are very careful about picking and choosing our guests.”

Film buffs will recognise the hotel’s name as a nod to Last Year at Marienbad, Alain Resnais’s 1961 film about a chance encounter between a couple at a social gathering in a chateau. The hotel’s name also refers to Cinema Marienbad from Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film Berlin Alexanderplatz.

The first artist to participate was Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon, from Glasgow, who designed the red neon sign that juts out from the facade.


Kate Connolly