The Domestikator

Part of the art village The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, conceived by Atelier Van Lieshout for the Ruhrtriennale, the Domestikator symbolises the power of humanity over the world.

Atelier Van Lieshout, Domestikator, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany
The grounds of the Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany, hosts an art village by Atelier Van Lieshout entitled The Good, the Bad and the Ugly after the famous Spaghetti western of the same name.
Central to the village – one of the most important locations of the Ruhrtriennale – is a large events hall, the Refektorium; this hall serves as a theatre, a meeting point, a restaurant, bar and foyer. The Refektorium is the focal point in a labyrinth of new and existing  works by Atelier Van Lieshout: BarRectum, Pioneer Set, Workshop for Alcohol and Medicines, Workshop for Weapons and Bombs and Domestikator – a new, large scale artwork that serves as a totem, a temple and a beacon within the hectic festival grounds.
Atelier Van Lieshout, Domestikator, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany. Photos Heike Kandalowski
Atelier Van Lieshout, Domestikator, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany. Photos Heike Kandalowski

Domestikator symbolises the power of humanity over the world. It pays tribute to the ingenuity, the sophistication and the capacities of humanity, to the power of organisation, and to the use of this power to dominate, domesticate the natural environment. The act of domestication, however, often leads to boundaries being sought or even crossed. Only a few taboos remain, and it is these taboos that the Domestikator seeks to address. At the same time, one could argue that humanity itself is being domesticated by the optimized systems and organizations of the digital world and the advancement of science.

Domestikator’s themes coincide with a number of recurring topics in the work of Atelier Van Lieshout, like utopia, dystopia, idealism, power, ethics, religion, love and reproduction. Domestikator is part of the ongoing series New Tribal Labyrinth. New Tribal Labyrinth presents a vision of a future yet primitive world, a society inhabited by imaginary tribes where ethics will be of little importance. This world will see a return to farming and industry, to rituals and rites – with Domestikator as a temple for a new religion, a place where the high priest can address the masses.

Atelier Van Lieshout, Refektorium, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany. Photo Heike Kandalowski
Atelier Van Lieshout, Refektorium, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany
The different artworks on display – both the existing works and the new works – are deep and dark, but at the same time lighthearted and humorous. Like the Ruhrtriennale’s central theme, “Seid umschlungen” (be embraced ), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is both welcoming and gripping, both utopian and dystopian. The installation as a whole can be read as a parable of our society, and reflects on subjects like power, terrorism, autarky, nutrition and sustainability.
As part of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, each year will see the organisation of a symposium, and each year a different installation will be added. The installation will consist of one large art work, surrounded by sculptures that coincide or question both the viewer and the works on display. The works reflect on social cohesion, the role of industry, the role and future of energy and the changing role of humans in an industrial area such as the Ruhr Area, but also in our society as a whole.

until August 2017
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Jahrhunderthalle, Bochum, Germany
Concept : Atelier Van Lieshout
With the support of : Stiftung Pro Bochum
Main project supporter : RWE Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft
A production by : Ruhrtriennale

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