Aus der Aufklärung

The Chinese Artist and regime critic Ai Weiwei developed a special project for the Emscherkunst. Titled Aus der Aufklärung (“End of Enlightenment”),  about 1000 tents could be borrowed by visitors during the summer, and erected on designated camp sites along the Emscher for an overnight stay. Ten different designs characterize the different tents and reference some of Ai Weiwei’s earlier art works, for example his famous Sunflower seeds, which can be found on the outside of some tents. Formed like the standard igloo tent, they offer space for two to three people. After the exhibition Emscherkunst 2013, the tents were raffled off to the visitors and users by the artist’s wish so they could stay in the region even after the exhibition had finished. The exhibition office kept a few tents as voucher copies, and these can be used again by enthusiastic campers at the visitor information Emscherquellhof in Holzwickede in summer 2016 during the Emscherkunst 2016.

With his project, Ai Weiwei invites the people of the Ruhr area, but also the visitors of the metropolis Ruhr to become part of an art work. It was especially important to the artist to create something that is not monumental, but in human dimensions, something that has a certain lightheartedness and fleetingness. Art becomes part of the moment, she does not leave traces. Communication and interaction between visitors and people shift to the foreground and are an important part of the project.

With the title Aus der Aufklärung Ai Weiwei reflects on the current situation in his home country and concretely refers to the great German exhibition “Kunst der Aufklärung” that was initiated in Beijing in 2011. Ai Weiwei complains about how the exhibition was not discussed enough in public, for him, China is still in its Dark Age. At that time, Ai Weiwei was taken into custody by the Chinese police.


Visitor Information:

The artwork is on the property of the Emscherquellhof and only accessible during opening hours (Tue-Sun, 10am – 6pm).
Adresse: Quellenstraße 2, Holzwickede
Public Transit: From Dortmund Main Station, take the U47 to Dortmund Aplerbeck, there take the bus 438 (towards Holzwickede Landskrone) to the station: Holzwickede Emscherquelle. From here it’s about 1km on foot to the Emscherquellhof(Quellenstraße 2).
GPS: 51.4909, 7.61167

You can find general visitor information here.