Emscher Folly

Emscherkunstweg Nicole Wermers Emscher Folly 2022 c Henning Rogge 6646

The artist Nicole Wermers has created a sculpture out of over 50 bicycles and a triangular bicycle stand she designed. She thus shifts an image familiar from urban space to a place marked by industrial work, abandoned and seemingly inhospitable, metaphorically speaking: in the engine room of everyday life between sewage plant and steelworks, the bicycles seem mysteriously out of place. Freed from their use, their design emerges all the more clearly. Close to the former mouth of the River Emscher, Emscher Folly also refers to the artificiality of a landscape as strongly shaped by man as the Emscher region.

Nicole Wermers lives and works in London and Emsdetten. She has been a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich since 2017. She was a fellow of the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome in 2012 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2015. In her sculptures, photographs and collages, the artist combines formal questions with investigations of urban space and its social, economic and psychological inscriptions.


Duisburg Alte Emscher sewage treatment plant, Alsumer Straße 215, 47166 Duisburg. There are only limited parking lots available on site.


  • Friday
    17:30—20 h

    Opening Emscher Folly

  • Between the Duisburg Alte Emscher sewage treatment plant and the Bruckhausen steelworks, the artist Nicole Wermers (*1971) has installed the sculpture Emscher Folly on a protected wasteland. We invite you to meet the work of art and the artist at the opening with greetings, an introduction to the content and a reception.


    Greetings by
    Edeltraut Klabuhn, Mayor of the City of Duisburg; Andrea Hankeln, Group Leader for New and Visual Arts, Literature, Participation, Regional Affairs, Memory Institutions at the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

    Roundtable discussion of the cooperation partners:
    Stefanie Reichart, Head of Department for Culture, Sport and Industrial Culture, Regionalverband Ruhr; Silke Wilts, Head of Department for Infrastructure and Events, Emschergenossenschaft; Dr. Vera Battis-Reese, Managing Director Kultur Ruhr GmbH.

    Introduction to the artwork:
    Britta Peters, Artistic Director Urbane Künste Ruhr, in conversation with Georg Elben, Director Skulpturenmuseum Marl.

    The artist will be present.

    A bus shuttle will run on the opening day and take visitors from the long-distance bus station in Duisburg to the artwork and back again.

    Bus stop:
    Fernbusbahnhof Mercatorstraße
    47051 Duisburg
    (From the main entrance of the main station turn left at the street, the bus stop is located behind the Hotel Intercity)

    Departure bus 1: 4 pm
    Departure bus 2: 4.45 pm
    (journey time between 30-45 minutes)

    Return journey to the long-distance bus station:
    Bus 1: 7.30 pm
    Bus 2: 8.15 pm

    The provisions of the Corona Protection Ordinance in force on the day of the event apply.

    The event is organised by the Emschergenossenschaft.

  • Friday
    15:45 h
    Bike Tour

    Bike Tour to the Opening of Emscher Folly

  • Curator Marijke Lukowicz accompanies you by bike from Duisburg Central Station to the new Emscher Folly artwork. The route first leads to the work Neustadt by Julius von Bismarck and Marta Dyachenko through the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord and then past the Alte Emscher pumping station.

    Meeting point is at 3.45 p.m. on the station forecourt at the main exit (Portsmouthplatz). A bicycle of your own is a prerequisite.

    The cycle tour is organised by the Emschergenossenschaft.

    Registration is possible until 23 June at info@emscherkunstweg.de.