Friday, December 04, 2009
Observatorium takes part in Emscher Art, an Island for the Arts. The work is called Waiting for the River.
After building canals, dikes, pipelines and all sorts of underground networks a small but delicate arcadian landscape came in existance. In 2020 time the watermangement of the Ruhrgebiet will try to create a natural river landscape. The river Emscher now is a open sewer in between two very high dikes.
Observatorium will build a covered brigde at the location of the future river bed. It will be a paradoxical situation. People will be able to spend 24 hours waiting for the river in the bridge. There is room for 2-8 people spending twenty-four hours in Emscher arcadia. Observatorium will document their aspirations, longings and projections. What does the future hold for you? What is the promise of the river to come? But the sleeping bridge is also a public sculpture visited by the art lovers and Ruhr afficonados. Residents and passers by will individually find a way to share the bridge.
The biggest art project of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 begins at the end of May. It is scheduled to last 100 days and, under the name "Emscher Art 2010" will be on show at the chosen site of Emscher Island, a venue that could hardly be more unusual.
The sights along the Emscher have, for many a year, represented the least attractive side of the Ruhr region. So it is specifically here that, for the last 20 years, a huge project has been underway under the auspices of the Emscher Association in order to regenerate the River Emscher while at the same time creating a prototype of cooperative regional planning.
The International Building Exhibition Emscher Park of the 1990s established the framework for transforming the landscape and redefining a huge swathe of land now known as the Emscher Landscape Park. And now this process is being continued with the Emscher transformation project. Along the Emscher and its subsidiaries, concrete-lined wastewater channels are being renaturised as revitalised streams - in what is currently the largest renaturisation project in the world. Difficult to imagine? Those who still today do not believe it are invited to see for themselves the "Wonder of the Emscher" in 2010. Emscher Island is at the heart of the New Emscher Valley. The narrow stretch of land between the Emscher and the Rhine-Herne Canal extends 34 kilometres between Castrop-Rauxel and Oberhausen.
In the exhibition organised by curator Florian Matzner, art in public spaces with an urban slant and also aspects of garden/horticultural art and landscaping will all have a role to play. The exhibition can be reached by boat, bicycle and car.
The European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 will see the start of an exhibition which, as a biennial in the following years, will celebrate the entire New Emscher Valley in the centre of the Ruhr Metropolis with high-quality art projects. "Emscher Art 2010" will also extend beyond the cultural capital year, making a permanent contribution to the structural change taking place in the Ruhr Metropolis and to the theme of Art in Public Spaces.