27. August 2013 /

Art along the Emscher River, Germany

The second instalment of the EMSCHERKUNST exhibition series along the banks of the Emscher River invites guests on a journey of art discovery at unexpected locations in the public sphere (on display until October 6). The total exhibition space encompasses around 47 square kilometres, and is located between the participating cities of Duisburg, Dinslaken, Oberhausen, Essen, Bottrop, and Gelsenkirchen. The exhibition EMSCHERKUNST is set to show art projects every three years at unusual locations: fallow wastelands, former industry facilities, and the no-man’s land between the Emscher River and Rhine-Herne Canal will be transformed into stages for international artists.


A short introduction to three projects:



The foot and cycle bridge Slinky springs to fame across the Rhein-Herne Channel by Tobias Rehberger (in cooperation with the engineering firm of Schlaich, Bergermann and Partner) is both a crossing location and an accessible work of art. The name Slinky springs to fame is derived from the American toy ‘slinky’, the ‘walking spring’. (Photo: Roman Mensing/EMSCHERKUNST)



The Observatorium sculpture Waiting for the River is an approximately thirty-eight-meter-long covered bridge subdivided into three pavilions. Thanks to its zigzag shape, the bridge creates a broad panorama, with small courtyards in between the pavilions. ((Photo: Roman Mensing/EMSCHERKUNST)


In terms of concept and function, this sculptural structure is an architectural proposal: until the new Emscher Valley actually becomes a reality in 2020, the bridge and its three pavilions will serve as a place for “productive waiting”, since it is through here that the re-naturalized Emscher will flow. Waiting for the River is therefore (still) a “sleeping bridge”. At the same time, says Observatorium, it is “three things: a work of fantasy, a reflection on the environment, and a building block for a community.” (Photo: Billie Erlenkamp/EMSCHERKUNST)


Out of Enlightenment is the title of the art object by the Chinese artist and architect Ai Weiwei: 1,000 colourful igloo tents for two people each will be spread along the Emscher River, offering visitors and locals alike an overnight experience in nature. Ai Weiwei refers back to his earlier works with ten different designs of the outer shell of his tents. The tents can be rented for overnight stays on up to ten temporary camping grounds. (Photo: Roman Mensing/EMSCHERKUNST)

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