Bochum, Germany is host to Ruhrtriennale, a six week art festival which opened last weekend and gave Joep van Lieshout of Atelier van Lieshout a chance to create his biggest—and most shocking—work to date.
In a place that, according to the exhibition’s website, is “for everyone who is curious,” Ruhrtriennale exhibits the Domestikator which aims to explore society’s role with nature. The project explores domestication and domination from an ethical perspective, and, as the not-so-subtle sculptural reference to beastiality demonstrates, how boundaries can be crossed during this process. Domestikator also touches on man’s relationship with technology, hinting that society itself is being domesticated by technologically driven systems.
Van Lieshout further revisits themes such as utopia, dystopia, idealism, power, religion and love as part of an ongoing series called New Tribal Labyrinth which can be seen in previous projects such as The Farm, Hagioscoop, and the Saw Mill/Cheese Maker. The series tenders a dystopian, post-nuclear-fallout-like future whereby imaginary tribes return to basic agricultural and industrial ways of life with the Domestikator acting as a religious temple for the masses.
New artistic director Johan Simons says van Lieshout’s installation will “create a lively and aesthetically chaotic place for for artists, festival makers, visitors and everyone who is simply curious.”
Tickets and information on the event can be found on the Ruhrtriennale website.