Waiting for the River – Warten auf den Fluss
The artist group Observatorium, Geert van de Camp, Andre Dekker and Ruud Reutelingsperger is based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Since 1997 they have been committed to create relationships between art, landscape and society. They like their artworks to be for the common good, to create a sense of place and to be used.
Waiting for the River is a living bridge, with benches, hostel-style rooms, and eco-bathroom – entirely made of used planks. It was regarded a good example for the future development of the Emscher Park in the Ruhr area for which the authorities have coined the description ‘productive park’. The house / bridge / installation was created for the Emscher Park during RUHR, Cultural Capital of Europe, May 29 – September 11,2010.
Observatorium invited people to spend as much time as possible in the structure – to wait for the river – or to spend a night in one of three pavilions. It was booked every night from May till September. Intended as a temporary structure the house will now be reconstructed and made permanent.
The 38-metre long zigzag bridge anticipates the new clean river valley Emscher, which is now still an open sewer. It sits over the waste land that will be the site of pastoral landscape in ten years time.
The book Waiting for the River (in German only, but lots of beautiful photography) describes the use and the visions of the visitors and guests spending the night in the waste land that is bound to be transformed.
Warten auf den Fluss Das Neue Emschertal im Wandel der Kunst. Ein Lesebuch
Herausgegeben von Emschergenossenschaft / Regionalverband Ruhr / Künstlergruppe Observatorium. 82 pp, € 19,95. ISBN 978-3-8375-0525-2. Klartext Verlag
Observatorium: Waiting for the River – Building
Observatorium: Waiting for the River – Book