An art event in the Oberhausen Gasometer
14 artists and how they describe change. 'I Phoenix' was the art event in the Oberhausen Gasometer in 1996. Renewal, the change of the times - in themselves, considered optimistically and with self-confidence, but also pensively. And that at a place which itself is a clear symbol of change. The gigantic gasometer was designed as a pragmatic space and efficient machine by engineers - now it was not only to be an atypical exhibition hall for contemporary art, but at the same time a provider of ideas for quite new, quite different concepts of change.
With pictures, objects, installations and activities prepared systematically for the exhibition the artists played with the whole space. Despite all the disparity in means, view points and accents, the work intermeshed organically. The common theme and the common venue, the impact and unique atmosphere of which the artists had to come to terms with, united the individual works of art to form a modern art event.
'I Phoenix' dealt with the sterile world of work, with the decline of the industrial era and its traces, but also with the future. What came out of that was an unprecedented modern art event in the most unusual exhibition hall in Europe. More than 96,000 visitors saw 'I Phoenix' in only five months; many of them did not rank among the typical exhibition public. The venue and the spectacular staging of the works of art aroused the curiosity of people who were otherwise not particularly interested in art. That too was a change.
Curator: Dr. Uwe Rüth
The artists of 'I Phoenix':
Anne und Patrick Poirier
Esther und Jochen Gerz
Hermann Josef Hack
Supreme Particles (Kollektiv)
Andreas M. Kaufmann