The Detroit Effect Seen by European Artists
#photography & visual arts
small, The Detroit Effect Seen by European Artists, Wojtek Ziemilski, photo: courtesy of the artist, wojciech_ziemilski1000.jpg
Opened in October 2013, Das Detroit –Project is a one-year city and art festival that connects four European cities: Bochum (Germany), Zaragoza (Spain), Ellesmere Port/Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Gliwice (Poland).
art in public space
polish institute dusseldorf
The four cities share a common fate due to their strong ties to the Opel automotive industry, which has known a severe downturn. The joint project by Schauspielhaus Bochum and Urbane Künste Ruhr poses questions and looks for answers regarding the future of cities, workers and art. Bochum, one-time a city running on its Opel car plant, is now facing its closure. Not only will this result in the loss of jobs, but the city's identity will not be the same afterwards. The project wants to resist industrial emigration and develop forward-looking alternatives for Bochum and the Ruhr Area. A number of art projects, involving Bochum's citizens, are being realized in cooperation with the above-mentioned European Opel cities. From the Polish side, the curatorial, artistic and organizational tasks have been undertaken by Marta Keil.
From the onset of the project Bochum's citizens have been engaged in several public activities. They were invited to participate in number of “Stadtgespräche” (city conversations) that are going to be continued until the end of the project in October 2014. On January 17th 2014, a container was opened on the square in front of the Schauspielhaus, providing space for a variety of activities until July. It held an exhibition of the renowned photographer Martin Steffen titled Change in Bochum. Currently, Bochum's citizens have been challenged to participate in the campaign Mein Bochum – unsere Zukunft (My Bochum – Our Future). They have been asked to submit photos picturing the envisaged future of Bochum. A selection of the pictures is going to be exhibited from April 26th onwards in public places all over the city.
Polish Projects within Das Detroit – Project
The Happy Truth Parade
Wojtek Ziemilski invites the audience to a unique event, a parade, the opening of a monument. But what would usually be an event looking into the future instead looks into the past: Everything is backwards, the parade, the music and the speeches. An examination of past, present, future and the relationship between them.
Robert Kuśmirowski is going to reconstruct a car plant left-over in the basement of a former colliery. With this artwork he is transforming the past of car manufacturing and former colemining into something new and unique.
The Pigeon Project
Michał Januszaniec's project consists of tracing the phenomenon of pigeon breeding in Bochum and the Ruhr area, yet again working with previously existing film material and rearranging it for his video installation. Using video material sent in by local breeders from their private archives, the artist is going to describe the social and economic changes to the region.
Das Detroit-Projekt is supported by Polnisches Institut Düsseldorf and Centre for Culture in Lublin.
source: press materials, ed. GS, 29.04.2014