A visitor to Urbane Künste Ruhr / Zu Gast bei Urbane Künste Ruhr

Urbane Künste Ruhr, Germany
Deadline: 08 April 2018

image via instagram @urbanekuensteruhr

image via instagram @urbanekuensteruhr

Urbane Künste Ruhr is a polymorphous and decentralized institution for contemporary art in the Ruhr region. It initiates projects in public spaces, exhibitions, residency programes and events, often in co-operation with local and international partners.

In 2018, in cooperation with KunstVereineRuhr, a network of art associations and artists’ houses in the Ruhr region and host of the project Ruhr Residence, and with the Silent University Ruhr in Mülheim an der Ruhr, a platform for refugee academics launched by the artist Ahmet Öüt, Urbane Künste Ruhr will  be inviting applications for the residency programme Zu Gast bei Urbane Künste Ruhr / A visitor to Urbane Künste Ruhr. This programme is directed at German and international artists whose work addresses the relationship between identity and territories. Artists are not required beforehand to present a concrete work project for the Ruhr region.

The Ruhr region is a world of contrasts: 53 autonomous municipalities, cities and villages, located in what sometimes feels like nowhere, yet geographically in the West of Germany. The region and its 5.1 million inhabitants are bound together by a common industrial past and the endeavours over the last few decades to redefine the economy. Almost everyone currently living in the Ruhr region or their im- mediate forebears immigrated here at some point – since 1850 it has received a constant flow of work migration. It’s a place where the relationship between identity and territories plays a central role. At the same time the notion of identification spanning boundaries has become a global topic of acute urgency in times of proliferating networks and growing digital fluidity. One need only think of Brexit and, on an international level, the growing swell of nationalist (“identitarian”) movements, but also of Catalonian efforts to achieve autonomy, which again have yet another background. From now until mid-2019 Urbane Künste Ruhr will be exploring in a variety of formats – exhibition projects, talks and texts – the relation- ship between identity and territorial attribution. As part of this, recently launched UKR residencies created in cooperation with two other institutions are awarded.


…as a guest of KunstVereineRuhr
…as a guest of the Silent University Ruhr

Within the framework of the residency programme artists can chose to spend 3 or 12 months in the Ruhr region. The 3-month residences are tied to the KunstVereineRuhr, an organisation that has garnered broad experience from its own diverse residency programmes and can offer ideal opportunities for networking with altogether 16 institutions located throughout the entire Ruhr region. These residencies are not bound to one particular town or city: the location is determined in consultation with the invited artists. Stays are possible in Bochum, Dortmund and Essen, but upon consultation other towns are also available (for the locations of KunstVereineRuhr see: 

The 12-month residences are tied to the Silent University Ruhr. The platform’s local members have now been working for three years on giving audible presence to the knowledge of the refugees in the region. Associated on an organisational level with the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, the network is multilingual, with particular emphasis on Arabic, and acts as an ideal partner for artists who feel thematically drawn to the group’s work or themselves have migratory experience. For these residencies the work focus is centred on Mülheim an der Ruhr.


What are the requirements for proposing an artist?

For the residencies Urbane Künste Ruhr is looking for professionally working artists from Germany and abroad whose place of residence is outside the Ruhr region. Eligible are all categories of the fine arts, including interdisciplinary approaches. The residencies are open-ended; they may but need not culminate in an artistic presentation or product. Urbane Künste Ruhr wishes to give artists an opportunity to become profoundly acquainted with the region and its social and geographical structure, to undertake research and discover stimulation for their own artistic work. Proposed artists are expected to show a willingness to contribute to the programme in the following way: to present their work artists can, optionally and upon consultation, post blog entries on Urbane Künste Ruhr’s website or periodically use a social media channel. Other possibilities are to participate in an artist’s conversation or in a public lecture/presentation. At least one of these forms should be adopted, but a combination is equally possible. In addition, artists are required to take part in the one-day welcoming event, the Housewarming.


What is Urbane Künste Ruhr offering?

◊  Accommodation and, as appropriate, a work space will be made available upon consultation in one of the centrally located towns in the region.

◊  For each resident artist a monthly stipend of 750 Euros will be provided to cover living costs and work materials.

◊  For artists not resident in Germany, health, accident and private liability insurance can upon con sultation be provided for the duration of their stay.

◊  For the duration of the residency each artist will receive a season ticket for the local public trans port network of the Verkehrsbund Rhein-Ruhr.

◊  The costs of travel to and from the site of residency will be covered.

◊  For the period of the residency artists will be individually looked after by the project coordinator
Linda Schröer. In addition, locally based mentors and facilitators will also offer support. Urbane Künste Ruhr will intermittently organise get-togethers, meetings and events with cooperation and network partners from across the region, offering diverse opportunities for exchange and dialo gue, as well as providing all artists with an individually tailored programme during their stay.

What are the conditions?
There is no age restriction. Each artist’s residency is located in the Ruhr region.
The artists is expected to spend the predominant part of their residency in the Ruhr region.

How is the application submitted?
Proposals and applications of proposed artists must be submitted at the latest by 8 April 2018, in one of two ways: either fully via email to:
or sent entirely by post to: Kultur Ruhr GmbH Urbane Künste Ruhr attn. Frau Britta Peters Gerard-Mortier-Platz 1 44793 Bochum Germany (For all applications sent by post: date as postmarked.)
All entries that arrive incomplete or after the deadline will be considered invalid.
The application should state whether it is intended for a 3-month (KunstVereineRuhr) or a 12-month (Silent University Ruhr) residency. For 3-month residencies the application should also state which period the residency is being applied for, whether starting 1 July 2018, 1 October 2018, 1 January 2019 or 1 April 2019.


Applications must include:
Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
Meaningful, pertinent samples of work (max. 20 pages)
Short written statement explaining why the proposer has chosen the proposed artist (max. 1 page) All data files should together not exceed 15 MB
Films should be submitted solely in MP4 format and made accessible by download
(only by dropbox or WeTransfer). The volume of any single submitted film or film compilation should
not exceed 500 MB.
All materials should be submitted in German or English. They will not be returned after submission. There is no legal entitlement to participation.
How is a residency awarded?
A jury consisting of representatives of the participating institutions and outside experts will award the residencies in mid-April. Criteria for the awarding are the quality of the artist’s previous work and how it relates to the topic named in the call for proposals.

Urbane Künste Ruhr is a many-faceted, decentralised institution for contemporary art in the Ruhr region. It initiates projects in public space, exhibitions, residency programmes and events, frequently in collaboration with local and international cooperation partners.
Along with the Ruhrtriennale, Tanzlandschaft Ruhr and ChorWerkRuhr, Urbane Künste Ruhr is part of the Kultur Ruhr GmbH, which is funded by the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR). Its headquarters are in Bochum.

Set in the unique and closely connected cultural landscape of the Ruhr region, the network KunstVer- eineRuhr was launched in 2007 as a constantly growing amalgamation of art associations and artists’ houses within the Ruhr cultural conurbation. With joint projects such as GrenzGebietRuhr (2010), BLOWIN’ FREE (2013) and Canale Grande (2014) local art associations and artists’ houses have proved themsel- ves outstanding sites of contemporary artistic production and presentation and platforms of discursive engagement with contemporary art.

The Silent University is an autonomous platform for sharing and exchanging knowledge for academics who are refugees or seeking asylum. Refugees arriving in Germany are initially not permitted to work. They are unable to put to use their knowledge and skills, and their university qualifications are frequently not recognised. In 2012 the Kurdish artist Ahmet Öüt became aware of the fate of refugees and asylum seekers with an academic background and subsequently initiated the Silent University in London. Sister universities now operate in Stockholm, Hamburg, Amman (in Jordan), Athens and – since the 2015 Im- pulse Theater Festival – in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Here, refugees and asylum seekers have now become lecturers and advisors.



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