Nach dem Beaufsichtigen der Maschinen
(After Supervising the Machines)
On the occasion of the 200th birthday of Friedrich Engels, the NRW KULTURsekretariat together with the LVR-Industriemuseum is examining the intellectual, social and political heritage of the German philosopher and activist by artistic means.
The performance, installation and discourse project "Nach dem Beaufsichtigung der Maschinen" (After Supervising the Machines), which will last several months, will focus on a variety of artistic and discursive activities in Engelskirchen and Wuppertal - two cities closely linked to the biographies of the young Engels and his parents.
The project revolves around questions about the significance of work today and its relationship to art and culture.
How do material and immaterial production relate to each other in the transformation from industrial to service society? Is artistic production suitable as a counter-project or is it itself a pioneer of neoliberal strategies of self-optimization and exploitation? What are the means of production today - for example as data material - and how can they be distributed differently? Who siphons off the added value and how does the added value relate to the value of people and their culture? And: What does the "working class" look like today - in global markets and networks, between identity policies, digital monopolies and new class struggles?
In Engelskirchen, whose history has been strongly influenced by the Engels cotton mill, the focus will be on artistic debate: Ten international artists are invited by dramaturg and curator Florian Malzacher to work concretely with the community, its history and its present in the public space from April to November 2020.
Over a period of six months, they will develop performative and installative works of art, some of them in direct contact with residents and multipliers, which will be presented on the last weekend in September. Individual works will also be on display over a longer period of time.
The discursive part of the project will take place in Wuppertal, the birthplace of Friedrich Engels. The residencies and activities in Engelskirchen will be presented here with a view to the central questions reflected and commented on through a series of discourse events at the NRWKS, which will end with Engels' birthday on 28.11.2020. This series of discussions is curated jointly by Florian Malzacher and NRWKS Director Christian Esch.
Information about all project activities is available on a specially created website under the domain engels-maschinen.de