2017 Münster Sculpture Projects Expands to Nearby City of Marl

It’s one of the big art events taking place in Europe in 2017.

Ayşe Erkmen, project sketch for Skulptur Projekte 2017. Photomontage by Jan Bockholt. Image courtesy Münster Skulptur Projekte.

The Skulptur Projekte Münster (Münster Sculpture Projects) has announced that its 2017 edition comes with a collaboration with the town of Marl. The decennial exhibition that brings public sculpture to Münster will thus expand to the nearby city, founded by a community of miners and chemical workers in the early 20th century.

The cooperation will center on the exchange of sculptures, and short residencies of participating artists in each city.

The five major projects that will comprise next year’s exhibition include historical reconstructions, singing paintings, human search engines, the opportunity to walk on water, and tattoos for senior citizens by artists Peles Empire, Ei Arakawa, Alexandra Pirici, Ayşe Erkmen, and Michael Smith.

Peles Empire project sketch. Image courtesy Münster Skulptur Projekte.

Peles Empire project sketch. Image courtesy Münster Skulptur Projekte.

The Berlin-based group Peles Empire, whose practice involves translating the furnishings of the Romanian Peles Castle into installations, will install a sculpture in the city center inspired by Münster’s postwar reconstruction of building facades.

Creator of experimental theater, dance, and musical pieces Ei Arakawa will digitally recreate contemporary and modern paintings on LED screens, which will sing to each other and the audience.

Choreographer Alexandra Pirici, from Bucharest, took her inspiration from the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, signed in Münster. Performers in the town hall’s Hall of Peace will act as “living search engines,” acting out a predetermined set of terms that viewers can prompt.

Istanbul and Berlin-based artist Ayşe Erkmen has proposed a footbridge crossing the Münster harbor, that will be built just below the water’s surface, allowing participants to look like they are walking on water when crossing it.

Michael Smith's drafts for tattoos for people aged 65 and up., part of Michael Smith, Not Quite Under_Ground Tattoo Studio, proposal for Münster Skulptur Projekte 2017. Image courtesy Münster Skulptur Projekte.

Michael Smith’s drafts for tattoos for people aged 65 and up, part of Not Quite Under_Ground Tattoo Studio, his proposal for Münster Skulptur Projekte 2017. Image courtesy Münster Skulptur Projekte.

Lastly, the American artist Michael Smith will create a tattoo-advising station for people 65 and older, and will put interested senior citizens in contact with local tattoo artists.

Skulptur Projekte Münster was founded by Klaus Bussmann and Kasper König in 1977, with the idea of putting the public in touch with modern sculptures by installing them in public spaces. The fifth edition, curated by Britta Peters and Marianne Wagner, has expanded its scope to include performative approaches.

Neither Münster nor Marl, with populations of 300,000 and 85,000 respectively, are landmarks on the international art world map. Marl was once poised to become a metropolis, and in the 1960s it tapped Dutch architects Johannes Hendrik van den Broek and Jacob Berend to build a Modernist city center. This contrasts with Münster’s construction during the same time, focused on reconstructing the period buildings destroyed during World War II. Next year’s event will put the two cities in dialogue, both in the artistic and the literary sense.

In addition to the sculptural and performative interventions, poet Monika Rinck will oversee Kur und Kür Cure and Kur, a two-week residency project for authors, who will spend time in both cities. The resulting texts will be published online, reflecting another expansion of Skulptur Projekte Münster into an online publication series called Out Of…, the first editions of which are already available.

Skulptur Projekte will run from June 10 to October 1, 2017.

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