Ruhrtriënnale: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Vorplatz Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, Germany, 18 August - 30 September 2017

In the summer of 2017 the Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout declares ‘The End of Everything’ with his large-scale installation in front of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. Van Lieshout’s new works for the Ruhrtriennale are a reflection on art and the world and a commentary on our human behaviour as consumers. All the works are based on the idea that things must be destroyed on a large scale in order to create space for a new creative beginning. At the heart of the installation stand a group of rough, industrial artworks, vast machines with titles like ‘The Roller’, ‘The Shredder’, ‘Conan the Barbar’ or ‘Bronco’. Milling and shredding, hammering and pressing are actions which can be equally representative of destruction as construction, signalling a break with tradition or a new beginning. Linked to this is the notion of recycling: of rubbish, of consumer goods, of art – even works by van Lieshout himself.

With ‘The End of Everything’ the artist places his work in direct relation to the Italian Futurists of the early 20th century and references their theses to address the issues of our time. The Italian Futurists regarded themselves as a revolutionary cultural movement that sought completely destroy all institutions in order to necessitate a new beginning, increasingly glorifying violence and war and ultimately collaborating with the fascist regime. Today the world is experiencing fundamental technical and major social changes: artificial intelligence, robots, genetic engineering and big data are omnipresent; populist movements are increasingly spreading. Van Lieshout’s works for the Ruhrtriennale 2017 draw parallels to the threats to society in the early 20th century and recent developments in our own time.

For the third and last time Van Lieshout will use the interplay of grouped works and individual pieces to transform the inhospitable emptiness outside the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum into a powerful, labyrinthine and highly topical installation. Alongside the new works, familiar pieces from the previous two years can also be found including the ‘Domestikator’, ‘BarRectum’, and the ‘Sanitary Silos’. The ‘Refektorium’ will host a wide-ranging programme of free events which establishes connections to van Lieshout’s art and to other Ruhrtriennale productions.
The installation and with it the Ruhrtriennale festival centre including the teenager-territory teentalitarism will be opened on 18th August at 4.30 pm in the presence of the artist.

Concept Atelier van Lieshout

Main project supporter: innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft.

A production by Ruhrtriennale.