Reservate der Sehnsucht [Zones of Desire]

Reservate der Sehnsucht [Zones of Desire]
21 August- 4 October 1998
Dortmunder U

35 internatinal artists on four floors with more than 4,000 qm of industrial ruins
Daniel García Andújar-Siegrun Appelt-John M. Armleder-Peter Bogers-Marie Jose Burki-Diller + Scofidio-Onno Dirker-Stan Douglas-Christoph Draeger-FLATZ-Mark Formanek-Rodney Graham-Johan Grimonprez-ipfo-Christoph Irrgang-Gerald van der Kaap-Kirsten Kaiser-Leuchtstoff-Peter Land-Antoni Muntadas-Walter Niedermayr-Vito Orazem-Tony Oursler-Jose Alejandro Restrepo-Alberto Simon-Jan-Peter ER. Sonntag-Bill Spinhoven-Allan Wexler-Andrea Wolfensberger-Thomas Wrede

An introduction
Zones of Desire are sites that stage what is considered to be long lost: worlds of artificial experience, perfect machines of illusion, but also the private retreats of the individual.
Today sees the ubiquitous creation of infrastructures that make life more acceptable – the artificial adventure playgrounds of fun parks, the shopping malls of new consumer culture, zoological gardens as oases of nature, travelling to exotic worlds, but also catastrophes processed by a TV culture that ensures that the sublime shudder is experienced from a safedistance.
The exhibition Zones of Desire confronts these scenarios and deals with artistic approaches to the topographies of staged desire, somewhere between Easy Living and failed utopias. Derelict for four years, the Union-Brewery in the center of Dortmund is an ideal non-site for the project. On four floors with more than 4,000 m2 of industrial ruin, 35 international artists present video works, installations and photographs, dealing with the spaces and projections of the post-industrial era. The starting point of the exhibition was one of the desolate floors in the former brewery building. In its original state, the floor presented a panorama of ruins turned into an interior space. Amidst the debris of this inverted landscape, a green lawn was installed as central motive for the modern reservation.

Visitors enter the exhibition through the specially designed Café Matta-Clark. Passing by the space-engulfing video-installations along the entrance corridor, the visitors reach the elevator where they are received by lift operators. Moving from floor to floor, they enter various sections of the exhibition, each with its own
specific form and contents. The infrastructure of the exhibition, installed for six weeks only, is decidedly provisional. Simulating the fun park as well as the bel étage of the museum, it nevertheless modifies both these presentational orders, so that the presentation turns the site itself into a work on show.

Place: The Dortmunder U

The central building of the former brewery Union Brauerei, built in 1926/27, with the company’s logo – a long drawn-out Neon-U – on the roof, is commonly known as the Dortmunder U. Entering the U today one meets with an impressive sight: torn out walls, rubble and broken pieces next to fanciful tiles and well-known industrial romanticism. Undamaged rooms adjoin desolate ones, and often one encounters peculiar details such as the word RECIPIENT on a control panel. Highlight is undoubtedly the tower storey with its vaults, galleries and a spiral staircase of steel leading straight under the U itself.


The exhibition uses four storeys of the building that can be reached by elevator, taking the visitors to extremely diverse situations; from a landscape (of ruins) reversed to the interior to the almost religious feeling of the tower storey. The rooms will mainly be left in their individual state: it is not intended to implant a museum.

The invited artists show photographs, video- and site specific-installations, that balance collective and most intimate zones of desire in an ambivalence of affirmation and negation.
The exhibition concept is structured from two directions: on the one hand it argues with the place as an urban non-place, which is being declared a temporary display for contemporary art. On the other hand it focusses on approaches in
contemporary art that go beyond art-inherent questions and concern themselves with the displays of what is real.
The aim is an interaction between the place and the artworks placed in it.
Curated by: Iris Dressler, Hans Dieter Christ
hARTware projekte e. V.
c/o Sunderweg 1
D-44147 Dortmund
++49(0)231-823106 fax ++49(0)231-8820240
–> Finishing 4th October

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