Monument for a Forgotten Future

Under the title Monument for a Forgotten Future an unusual project was realized on the so called Wild Island in the north of the Rhine-Herne-Canal at the sluices in Gelsenkirchen: a true to original copy of a rock formation from the national park Joshua Tree close to Los Angeles was set up on the Wild Island and serves as an “unnatural natural manifestation”. Olaf Nicolai justifies this with a conceptual approach: “Todays landscape planning considers the landscape as a place which is presented through its qualities as an accumulative value (attractiveness, space time activities, etc.). During the last centuries this has documented itself through different strategies, from gentle conversions, new development to spectacular designs of event parks and visually strong landmarks. This kind of process is made a subject of discussion and their potential is questioned through setting up an object as a quote.”

From inside the hill, quiet music can be heard, when one approaches the rock and leans on it, in order to listen to the music. The band Mogwai composed in cooperation with Douglas Gordon a symphony which the band describes as “otherwordly” and which premiered here. Inzwischen wurde das Stück auch als Track auf dem Album „Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will“ (2011) bei Rough Trade veröffentlicht.

Visitor information

The Monument for a Forgotten Future is a permanent works and is accessible at all times. The symphony will be heard during summer season from May until October. At the moment construction work concerning the Emscher conversion is being done nearby on site, however the sculpture is still accessible.

Adress: An den Schleusen 1-29, 45881 Gelsenkirchen.

There is a small parking lot on the grounds of the watergate of the Rhine-Herne-Canal nearby. You can reach the “Wild Island” (“Wilde Insel”) through a path across the watergate. Behind you will find stairs leading up to a platform. From there the sculpture is situated approx. 200 meters to the left, at the top of the “island”. Please note that “Wild Island” is the name for the green and overgrown plot of land between Rhine-Herne-Canal and Emscher river, it is not an actual island.

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