Experts call the inner sides, where units of space bump into each other, meeting edges. It is precisely at these edges – between fields and industrial buildings, living quarters and green spaces – that paths dissolve. How can the routes along these meeting edges become opportunities for encounters? I have been sharing this question for over a year with six local artist collectives. Because no one is better placed to speak about this area than those who are already here. The strong independent arts scene in North Rhine-Westphalia has produced a wide range of collectives and artists. I have managed to encourage some of them – Anna Kpok, loekenfranke, Stefan Schneider, Peng! Kollektiv, RUHRORTER, tehran re:public – to set off on behalf of the Ruhrtriennale and its audience. To travel routes that they have always travelled, to take a close look again and think about how it could be presented and what could be presented so that people can see what can’t be seen. Many weeks and many miles later, they invite me to cycle along empty parts of Duisburg in pouring rain, to read loose sheets of paper on crammed local trains, to download audio files at abandoned tram stops or to listen to the spoken announcements on Regionalexpress trains. An adventure begins that will continue step by step and is now waiting to meet you on the edge.
ALJOSCHA BEGRICH has been travelling around the Ruhr region for 13 years. He started working as a stage designer at Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2008, and continued from 2013 at Oper Dortmund. As the curator of Truck Tracks by Rimini Protokoll he toured numerous cities, including Recklinghausen and Mülheim, between 2015 and 2017. Since 2020, he has been a dramaturg at the Ruhrtriennale, with responsibility for interdisciplinary and site-specific projects.
The map material is taken from the publication: Schichten einer Region. Kartenstücke zur räumlichen Struktur des Ruhrgebiets, published by Christa Reicher, Klaus R. Kunzmann, Jan Polívka, Frank Roost, Yasemin Utku, Michael Wegener, Jovis Verlag, 2011.
Translation: David Tushingham