KUNST & KOHLE | Down here – Up there
6th May – 16th September 2018
17 RuhrKunstMuseen (Ruhr Art Museums) take the end of the mining industry as a special occasion to organize the largest city-spanning exhibition project that has ever been implemented on this topic. In 13 cities, from May to September 2018, artistic positions will be shown simultaneously across the region, dealing with the topic of "coal mining” in the most varying ways.
With the temporary exhibition "Down here - Up there", the Centre for International Light Art shows a surprising outlook on the processes of change in the Ruhr area from the closure of the coal mines to the renaturation of landscapes to a creatively designed future.
When the exhibition series "Kunst & Kohle" of the RuhrKunstMuseen was planned to commemorate the end of the centuries-long era of mining on the occasion of the closure of the last coal mine in the Ruhr area, the Prosper-Haniel coal mine in Bottrop, it seemed unusual at first sight to create a connection between mining and light art. The mining industry was characterized by a lack of light: darkness reigned in the tunnels, whereas above the mines, the sky was overcast by the dust of the coal production. Only at night, the shaft towers were staged by searing lights as monuments of technology. Similar to these nightly images, the exhibition "Down here - Up there" sheds its light on the history of the Ruhr area in a variety of ways through the differentiated applications of light: simple neon tubes, which illuminate the architecture of the fermentation cellars in an idiosyncratic way; video loops that stage nature and cast diffused light on coal-like ceramics; the coloured glowing of a cloud.
And while mining was a man-made domain because of the physically demanding working conditions, our exhibition is designed by three female artists: Diana Ramaekers (NL), Nicola Schrudde (DE) and Dorette Sturm (NL).