Emscherkunst 2016 – “Discover the art – experience the change” – Recklinghausen City Port

My grandfather told in one of his stories that he had fished in the river Emscher when he was a young boy. For me it was like a fairy-tale as I know that river as an open waste water canal, in common parlance called „Köttelbecke“ (droppings basin) in allusion of what it transported normally, if you know what I mean… In the course of the downfall of coal mining and industry, since the early 1990s, a huge renaturation project for the Emscher river has been progressing by Emschergenossenschaft. A large subterranean pipe is currently being constructed along the course of the river, a generation project in which the river will be transformed back from being an open sewer to a natural022.JPG river. The river still is carrying waste water at the Stadthafen area in Recklinghausen. The „Waste Water Fountain“ of SUPERFLEX, a Danish artist group, sprays waste water that is conducted with pumps through the more than 4m high sculpture in absolute delight for the absurd. A megaphone shouts out the currently determined analysis values of the 003.JPGwaste water, 1,1,1-trichlormethane, silver, arsenic…, while next to that spot freshwater cited from the harbour basin is sprayed through a hose into the river, to refresh and treat the Emscher with clear water.  A digestion tank on the former wastewater treatment plant Herne was designed by German artist Silke Wagner to a monument of mining history. Titled038„Glückauf.Bergarbeiterproteste im Ruhrgebiet“ (good luck.miner’s protest in the Ruhr area) it displays important historical scenes from more than 100 years history. The artist has designed a monumental wall mosaic for the digester’s outside.

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