You can experience a lot of water and it was quite different for me in contrast to the encounter in the last year (see Matera). Ireland has had a lot of wood, but it was removed for the purpose of farming and stockbreeding.
Context matters while presentating art and other matters of interest. – On the weekend of 02.11.2012 to 04.11.2012 there was the art exibition C.A.R. Contemporary Art Ruhr in Essen, Germany. With the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Zollverein Colliery and the SAANA-Cube the exibition has a very impressive backdrop.
There were a lot of interesting works of art – sculptures, paintings, photographs – that aroused my interest. But …
what I want to do is to write about context. The backdrop, the halls, the walls, the light all those elements build the context that a work of art is perceived. In addition there are the spatial sound, the voices, the smell of the building and the visitors. Not to forget the question whether the artist or the gallery owner leave you in silence or try to sell you something. In the photo above there is a situation where I only stopped by to make the photograph of a completely failed presentation because of the lights blinding me.
My favorite space was the showroom of the ART-isotope Gallery Axel Schoeber you can see in the photo below. Axel Schoeber created a context for the work of the artists Sónia Aniceto, Eberhard Bitter, Andrea Kraft, Georg Meissner that was pleasant to be in and was giving space to the work to appear. He and the artists were cautious and were waiting for questions instead of asking themselves. So I could perceive my way and I loved it.
“To go on a cruise with an ancient railbus“ was the childhood dream of Stefan Tigges. He incorporated the Ruhrtalbahn in 2004 and extends his offerings from year to year. At the last weekend in April 2012 he launched his Schienenkreuzfahrt (cruise) trough the Ruhr Area. I had the opportunity to join this event and enjoyed it! Because of the not so much convenient ancient railbus it was a little adventure. I experienced how it felt and looked like to travel in the sixties of the twentieth century and thought back to my own childhood. But I felt no nostalgia, I sensed how convenient we use to travel nowadays. During the cruise we passed a lot of places that are milestones in the history of this region, letting us know and imagine what developments we have begotten or undergone. Due to a very well-informed guide there were a lot of bits of new information I could gather although I live in this region for half a century. I recommend joining the tour.
I don´t know how you manage to get through the winter. My experience so far is that there is almost no frost, snow and almost no sunshine since the middle of November here in the Ruhr Area. There were two days in January with the temperature falling below zero. One of them I could use for a photo tour and came home with the photograph above. I am happy with having been able to use this rare moment when the sun was below the horizon and temperature was below zero too.
Inspired by the toy »Slinky« the German artist Tobias Rehberger, a border crosser between design, art and architecture, designed a pedestrian bridge in the form of a spiral with 496 arches made of Aluminium and illuminated in the night. Its official name is »Slinky Springs to Fame« but in colloquial speech it is named »Rehberger-Brücke« due to its inventor. The bridge spans the Rhine-Herne Canal in Oberhausen, Germany, connecting two public gardens, the Kaisergarten from the late 19th century and the Volksgarten from the early 20th century and is a replacement for a bridge that got destroyed in World War II. This place is not far from the Gasometer, a landmark for the whole Ruhr-Area.
The construction of the bridge is held by two ribbons made of high strength steel, the lightest of all possible constructions, and was developed by Schlaich, Bergermann & Partner. The elegant, light and vibrant bridge is part of the Emscherkunst – An Island for the Arts-Project and was build by the Emschergenosenschaft with subsidization by the European Union and the state North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a sculpture and an emblem in the geographic center of Oberhausen, a town compound of three little towns since 1929.
“The cities in the Ruhr Metropolis are working together” is the key issue of the polis magazine edition 1 / 2011 with the title “The Awakening Hercules”. Michael von der Mühlen, city manager of Gelsenkirchen, has written an article about the culture of collaboration between the major of the 53 cities within the Ruhr Area. He used my photograph from the “Grimberger Sichel” (Grimberg Sickle) to express the main idea of his article: Since more then 20 years city planners and politicians are working on building interurban bridges of understanding and are trying to work together to build up the the Ruhr Metropolis. Nowadays those efforts come to fruition.
The brigde is located near the Grimberg Harbor in Gelsenkirchen. It was designed by the engineering office Schlaich Bergermann and Partner from Stuttgart and was built by the Regional Association Ruhr (RVR). It was awarded the “European Steel Bridges Award 2010”. The bridge connects the recreation areas north and south of the Rhine-Herne Canal and connects the cycle path along the acient ore-railway-line with the cycle path within the Emscher Park. I awaited this moment with the men pausing on the bridge in the evening sun for about 2 hours. They did notice me photographing but did not bother about me. So I could capture a moment of friendlyness, informality and understanding with no posing towards me.
On may way down to Ligury to fellow the Italy-Within-The-Frame-Workshop in April 2010 teached by David duChemin and Jeffrey Chapman I intermitted my journey towards Ligury and backwards home to stay a day and a night in the Valle Vercasca (Green Valley) in the Canton of Ticino in the Swiss Alps. I wanted to slow down and wanted to revisit this wild and emeraldgreen river I had seen lots of years before. This time I wanted to create photographs that show my love to this part of nature and I wanted to show the juxtaposition of flowing water and the resting stone and their harmony they build together.
The best photographs I used to create an electronic greeting-card that I send to my family, friends, colleagues, fellowers and customers in January 2011. If you like you can watch the flash-slideshow here (German version). If you do like to catch the meaning of the lyric that my wife has created you could have look at the html-version with english subtitles in the caption-field below the photographs.
The project »Warten auf den Fluss« (waiting for the river) by the artist-group Observatorium in Rotterdam has fascinated me. »Waiting for the river« does mean the Emscher that is no river since over 100 years but an open waste water canal. The Emscher will be renaturated in several years and this art project wanted to tell us this. Warten auf den Fluss was a hostel in the Emscherlandschaftspark made of wood and had a warm and inviting atmosphere – I loved it and about 25.000 visitors had a look at it during the summer of 2010.
I visited the sculpture the day after it was demolished – it was a temporary project and was over at Sept. 18th. 2010 – and I got a little bit sad.
I vainly hoped it would be saved and I could invite friends to to stay overnight together.