Discover 100 days of art – along the banks of the Emscher from Holzwickede to Herne


Press release from 3rd June 2015



From 4th June to 18th September 2016, Emscherkunst 2016 will be offering visitors a unique cultural experience in a total of seven urban and rural exhibition spaces in the eastern part of the Ruhr.


The Ruhr Metropolis: In exactly one year’s time – on 4th June 2016 – the Emscherkunst 2016 open-air exhibition will open, taking place for the third time under the motto “Discover art. In the summer of 2016, more than 25 artworks by national and international artists are going on display in five cities and rural areas along the banks of the Emscher.



reemrenreh by Bogomir Ecker, Emscherkunst 2010 (c) Thorsten Arendt/Emscherkunst


The Emscherkunst 2016 exhibition discovery route, some 50 km in length, runs from Holzwickede via Dortmund to Castrop-Rauxel, Recklinghausen and Herne and invites visitors to discover the region anew. A total of seven exhibition spaces along the art route – plus a fascinating event programme – will provide for a unique art experience over the summer. Alongside the idyllically situated source of the Emscher in Holzwickede, the Dortmund Phoenix Areal and the urban space around the Dortmund U-Tower, the artistic highlights of the exhibition also include the Kokerei Hansa (Hansa Coking Plant) industrial monument, the flood control reservoir in Dortmund-Mengede/ Castrop-Rauxel-Ickern, the major waterway junction of the Emscher and the Rhine-Herne Canal in Castrop-Rauxel as well as the Museum Strom und Leben (Museum of Current and Life) and Recklinghausen City Harbour. Rural areas, historical industrial culture, natural and recreational areas as well as urban space allow visitors to experience the Ruhr metropolis in all its diversity. The best way to explore the 100-day Emscherkunst 2016 exhibition is by bicycle, although it is also possible by car, by coach or just on foot. The exhibition is accompanied by a wide range of guided tours through the exhibition areas. There are also keen art scouts standing by at many artworks ready to provide visitors with information on the artworks.


Over 25 art projects are on display as part of Emscherkunst 2016. These include popular works from the last two editions of the exhibition, such as the walkable and liveable “Waiting for the River” bridge sculpture by the Rotterdam Observatorium group of artists and the “Society of Amateur Ornithologists” bird watching station by the American artist Mark Dion. In addition to these, there are also a large number of new artworks. Alongside both internationally acknowledged and aspiring artists, the regional art scene from the Ruhr will also be incorporated into the exhibition. In realising this exhibition, the organisers – Emschergenossenschaft, Urbane Künste Ruhr (Ruhr Urban Arts) and the Regionalverband Ruhr (Ruhr regional Association) – are also supported by a wide network of regional partners. For example, following the successful cooperation in 2013 the Exhibition Bureau is renewing its partnership with the Dortmund TU and the Folkwang University of the Arts. In addition, the RevierRad bicycle rental service will again set up bicycle stations and info-points on the exhibition at central points in the exhibition. And this time, a service consisting of guided tours as well as tours for persons with cognitive or physical disabilities is planned.


Background to the Emscherkunst exhibition:

Every three years, on behalf of Emscherkunst internationally renowned artists address both the Emscher conversion project and the urban, rural and industrial transformation in the Ruhr coal-mining district. In its first edition as part of the RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture Year, Emscherkunst with 200,000 visitors was the biggest art project in public spaces in the Ruhr. In 2013, a total of 255,000 visitors came to see the temporary works of the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei, the Dane Tue Greenfort, the Swede Elin Wikström and the Belgian Hans Op de Beeck.

For Emscherkunst 2016, the Emschergenossenschaft, Urbane Künste Ruhr and the Regionalverband Ruhr are again cooperating with the aim of making the region an attractive environment to live and work in and further strengthening the international reputation of the Ruhr as an attractive art metropolis. The curator of Emscherkunst 2016 is again Prof. Florian Matzner.

Drawing upon the Cultural Capital idea of RUHR.2010 “Change through Culture – Culture through Change”, the North Rhine-Westphalia State Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport is promoting the Emscherkunst exhibition as a particularly sustainable culture project. In 2013, Emscherkunst was acclaimed by the United Nations for its commitment in conveying the sustainability concept and selected as a “contribution to the UN decade of education for sustainable development”.