Ruhr Atoll: Description
Project to Rescue our Natural Resources
"Atolls, created by volcanic energy, have always been a fascination to man. And in conjunction with new technologies and materials, they become far more than mere archipelagos, providing inspiration for artists, engineers and scientists alike. Following the formula: "Art is Energy - Energy is Movement", the Ruhr Atoll art project has been a permanent companion of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 from its candidacy through to the award of the title.
The Ruhr Atoll is concerned with all issues relating to the future of our energy resources. It is being installed in close collaboration with RWE AG on Essen’s Lake Baldeney within a fascinating landscape setting that has long been a backdrop to the history of energy. The special topography of the location creates a unique framework: witnesses of industrial and pre-industrial mining, the Medieval town of Werden, the world-famous "Villa Hügel", home of the Krupp family, a hydroelectric power plant from the 1920s and the lake as a highly popular excursion and leisure destination offer a wide range of experiences to complement the exhibition.
Four artificial islands, each measuring 300 square metres, will be set afloat on the lake, each creating its own island world and each dedicated in its own special way to the symbiosis of "Art and Science" and the issue of "Energy and Ecology". There will be the contemplative approach as epitomised by the "Tea House" by Kazuo Katase and architect Michael Wilkens, the scientific approach as embodied in the "ICEBERG" by Andreas Kaiser and physicist Lars Kindermann, an irreverent take encapsulated in the "Project to Rescue our Natural Resources" by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and a political slant in the form of the "Submarine" by Andreas M. Kaufmann and Hans U. Reck. Given the conceptual approach within this public space, people are also drawn into the ensuing dialogue who previously may never have had any contact either with contemporary art or the energy debate.
The islands of the Ruhr Atoll form a cohesive landscape image and will be visible in their entirety both from the banks and from the Baldeneysee dam. If visitors want to get up close and personal, there will be boats for hire which they will have to power with their own energy in order to reach the archipelago, again actively involving them in the project.
At the same time, on the island of Brehminsel in Essen-Werden, the MUS-E laboratory of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in Germany will open to the public. Its primary theme will be "Energy", and this will be taken to the schools with the support of the MUS-E artists and scientists to stimulate research, discussion, experimentation and artistic interpretation by the children and teenagers at the local level"
From: Ruhr Atoll: Ruhr.2010