Yacht Kaiserstuhl

Installation/Performance, 2010
(yacht model, rice straw, metal pipe, lectern, single channel video, feedback sound system) 6x2x2m

China, summer 2010, the “Kaiserstuhl” was dismantled, packed into crates and shipped across the ocean, bound for Germany. On arrival, everybody was invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony.

In 2000, the “Kokerei Kaiserstuhl” (an industrial coke plant in Dortmund) became no longer profitable, despite being the most advanced of its kind. Consequently, it was sold and disassembled over several months by 300 Chinese workers. In pieces, it was then shipped to Shandong and rebuilt, advancing China's heavy industry into the 21st Century.

The project “Yacht Kaiserstuhl” references this enormous transfer of material and information, and turns it around. In China, a yacht was constructed from rice straw taken from fields near the new Shandong coke plant. After the yacht was built, it was dismantled again, packed in crates and put on the next container ship bound for Germany, the reverse route that the coke plant had previously taken. On arrival, it was placed in downtown Dortmund where it has become a reincarnation of the vanished factory. Both the method of transportation and material used for building the yacht, reference the history of the coke plant. In contrast, the (yacht) form alludes to the expectations of a post-industrial society evoked by the structural changes in the Ruhr area. In Dortmund, these expectations manifest themselves in the ongoing construction of Lake PHOENIX – an artificial lake at the site of an abandoned steel plant, which will eventually host a marina.