The work of Andreas Golinski (born in 1979) always references places and the stories that they have to tell. Golinski, who lives in Essen, works with materials typical of his urban environment such as steel, glass, wood or brick, succeeding in extracting from these visual aesthetic qualities which, in everyday life, are usually obscured by their functions. Golinski is a researching artist, one who takes buildings and urban structures as the starting point for his work, creating items that are, at the end of the day, sculptures with an architectural feel to them. Golinski designed his ASCHE back in 2014 for Museum Folkwang’s inner courtyards (further information here...). This piece investigates the North/South divide in the city of Essen.
His work Untitled (Ruhrtal – So Many People Jump, Always …) focuses on the Mintard Ruhr Valley Bridge. In use since 1996, this bridge is part of the A52 autobahn and enjoys a paradoxical double life. First of all, given its dimensions and its architecture, it is one of the Ruhr Valley’s landmarks and is a symbol of mobility and of that sense of embarking on a new adventure typical of post-War Germany. At the same time, for most of its users, Germany’s longest steel bridge (1,800 m in length) remains an invisible superlative – as a solid-web girder bridge with 18 girders, the bridge lacks any striking superstructure. The bridge deck continues the carriageway without particular structural highlights and because of this is hardly noticed by drivers. However, the bridge soon started to attract people with suicidal tendencies which is why, shortly after it was completed, it came to be dubbed the “suicide bridge”. And, after Golinski started taking an interest in it, its dark side was to become increasingly apparent – stories about fatal accidents during its construction and the abduction of a child who was kept prisoner in the bridge’s box girder (the artist was 15 years old when this crime took place).
Untitled (Ruhrtal – So Many People Jump, Always …) is a project that took Golinski several years to complete. The work consists of a large sculptural installation made of steel and wood plus several wall-mounted display cases in which the artist assembled research materials, photographs and sketches like a collage. Over the course of its genesis, the work developed into an installation of impressive dimensions, one that filled an entire room and came to represent a good example of Golinski’s approach to his art. In his works on specific locations, the artist always combines an analysis of the spatial/architectural situation with research into its circumstances, the stories behind it and its background, those things that are not immediately apparent.An early version of Untitled (Ruhrtal – So Many People Jump, Always …) went on show in 2013 at Kunstverein Dortmund and at Florian Christopher in Zurich. On its acquisition, the artist expanded the work, complementing it with his archive on the Ruhrtalbrücke. And so this work in Museum Folkwang – only 20 kilometers away from the actual Ruhrtalbrücke – allows for an alienated, in-depth look at something that people normally take for granted and at the invisible stories it has to tell. And so this isolated structure demonstrates the modern, rational approach to construction that characterizes those infrastructures that are typical of the Ruhr region, not only in the way that they function, but also in how they are constructed.
In 2016, Museum Folkwang has succeeded in acquiring the work Untitled (Ruhrtal – So Many People Jump, Always …) dating from 2007-17. The purchase was funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia’s Ministry for the Family, Children, Young People, Culture and Sport.
The presentation is complemented by the work The Gap, the Box Left Behind (2013) which is on loan from the artist.