Landscapes of an Ongoing Past

Marta Dyachenko Floating Island
Driant Zenelli Maybe the cosmos is not so extraordinary Copyright the artist and prometeogallery di Ida Pisani Milan Lucca
Fedir Tetianych Cities of the future Copyright Fedir Tetianych
Zhanna Kadyrova unnamed from the series Second Hand 2014 2017 copyright Zhanna Kadyrova
Yuri Yefanow We will definitely talk about this after the last air raid alert stops Copyright Yuri Yefanow
Nino Kvrivishvili 1 AISI 2022 Wool handwoven tapestry Foto Guram Kapanadze
UKR2024 Salzlager copyright Heinrich Holtgreve

It is only through a human perspective that nature becomes a landscape into which meanings may be inscribed. Past events continue to have an effect, and landscapes can embody memories, fears or longings.

Since 2001, The Palace of Projects by the internationally renowned artist couple Ilya & Emilia Kabakov has been installed in the Salzlager (salt warehouse) of the UNESO world heritage site Zeche Zollverein, a preserved coal mine and industrial processing complex. In loose correspondence with this project, the exhibition Landscapes of an Ongoing Past shows historical and contemporary works by artists from former socialist Eastern Europe, which examine landscapes that are either still developing or in the process of disappearing. They explore questions of artisanal and industrial production, explore traces of unrealized utopias or reflect on the relationship between architecture and nature. With the work of the representative of the Ukrainian avant-garde Fedir Tetianych (who died in 2007 in Kiev), the exhibition not only addresses the conditions of artistic production at the time of the Soviet Union, but also juxtaposes the The Palace of Projects with another historical design for a futuristic utopia.

In commenting on the post-industrial landscapes of the Ruhr region, Landscapes of an Ongoing Past uses all the means available to art - sometimes seductive, sometimes disturbing - to explore the state of the present between decay and hope.

An exhibition conceived by Urbane Künste Ruhr in cooperation with the Zollverein Foundation for the Ruhrtriennale 2024. The Palace of Projects is the property of the Stiftung Industriedenkmalpflege und Geschichtskultur and is on permanent loan to the Zollverein Foundation.


With works by Marta Dyachenko, Uli Golub, Jana Gunstheimer, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Nino Kvrivishvili, Yuri Yefanov, Driant Zeneli and a model after Fedir Tetianych (1942-2007) realised by Bögdana Kosmina & Bogdan Tetianych as well as a digital project by Pixelated Realities

At the Kinopavillon: Tekla Aslanishvili, Anna Daučíková, Sven Johne, Dana Kavelina, ruїns collective, Emilija Škarnulytė, Borjana Ventzislavova


Discussion formats with the participating artists are planned around the opening and finissage. In guided tours of the exhibition, the curators will provide insights into the themes and the development of the exhibition. The guided tours are offered in various languages on Sundays. Workshops for children, young people and adults take place on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Participation in the accompanying programme is free of charge. Registration now open!


The exhibition is accessible for wheelchair users (with the exception of the Palace of Projects). Detailed information will be provided before the exhibition opens.


Friday, 16.8. 4 pm
Admission is already possible from 3 pm.

With Prof Heinrich Theodor Grütter, Member of the Executive Board of the Zollverein Foundation and Director of the Ruhr Museum Essen, Ivo Van Hove, Artistic Director of the Ruhrtriennale and Britta Peters, Artistic Director of Urbane Künste Ruhr.




12—7 pm


Salzlager, UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein
Heinrich-Imig-Straße 11
45141 Essen


  • Sunday

    Finissage: Landscapes of an Ongoing Past

  • Fr.—Su.
    16.8.— 22.9.

    Landscapes of an Ongoing Past

  • Friday
    16 h

    Opening: Landscapes of an Ongoing Past

  • The exhibition will open on Friday, 16.8. at 4 pm. Admission is already possible from 3 pm.

    With Prof Heinrich Theodor Grütter, Member of the Executive Board of the Zollverein Foundation and Director of the Ruhr Museum Essen, Ivo Van Hove, Artistic Director of the Ruhrtriennale and Britta Peters, Artistic Director of Urbane Künste Ruhr. The speeches will be held in German and will be translated into DGS.

    Marta Dyachenko Foto Frederike Wetzels Artist ©

    Marta Dyachenko

    Marta Dyachenko's (*1990 in Kyiv, Ukraine) objects create new fictional landscapes that combine two contrasting states - new buildings in the process of being built and ruins.

    Uli Golub by Uli Golub Artist ©

    Uli Golub

    Uli Golub's (*1990 in Kharkiv, Ukraine) artistic practice includes video, installation, performance, photography and mixed-media collages. Storytelling forms the basis of her work.

    Jana Gunstheimer2 Jannis Uffrecht Artist ©

    Jana Gunstheimer

    Jana Gunstheimer (*1974 in Zwickau) often combines drawings, paintings and objects in her artistic practise to create complex overall installations.

    Nikita kadan by taras grytsiuk 1 Artist ©

    Nikita Kadan

    Nikita Kadan (*1982 in Kyjiv, Ukraine) works with painting, graphics, and installation, often in collaboration with architects, sociologists and human rights activists.

    Zhanna Kadyrova Foto Sergey Illin Artist ©

    Zhanna Kadyrova

    Zhanna Kadyrova (*1981 in Brovary, Ukraine) has been working in the field of sculpture for 20 years and is currently one of the best-known artistic positions from Ukraine.

    Nino Kvrivishvili Foto Tekla Basishvili Artist ©

    Nino Kvrivishvili

    In her artistic work, Nino Kvrivishvili reflects on the history of textile production in Georgia, which was a central branch of industry in Soviet times.

    UKR Resident Yuri Yefanov 2022 c Daniel Sadrowski 2078 Artist ©

    Yuri Yefanov

    Yuri Yefanov (*1990) is an artist and filmmaker from Ukraine. His works use computer-generated imagery and game simulations to create digital dimensions of otherworldliness.

    Driant Zeneli Foto Fabrizio Spucches min Artist ©

    Driant Zeneli

    In his films and sculptural video installations, Driant Zeneli (*1983 in Shkoder, Albania) interweaves representations of power, science, mythology and fairy tales with individual narratives.

    Tekla photo by Roberto Ruiz Artist ©

    Tekla Aslanishvili

    In her practice, Tekla Aslanishvili observes the shifting relations between governments, people, and their territories through the lens of large-scale infrastructure projects.

    220729 Anna Daucikova Foto Mira Turba min Artist ©

    Anna Daučíková

    Anna Daučíková lives and works in Prague. In her practice she is working with painting, photography, video, and performance exploring authorship, gender and sexuality.

    Johne 2024 Portrait1 KLEMM S Berlin Artist ©

    Sven Johne

    Sven Johne is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. In his text, photo and video works, Sven Johne combines historical research and fictional narratives and deals with post-socialist biographies.

    Credits Kateryna Turenko Artist ©

    Dana Kavelina

    In her practice Dana Kavelina often touches upon military violence and war, historical and individual trauma, memory, and critical perspectives on the historical canon.

    Ruins collective photo by ruins collective Artist ©

    ruїns collective

    The ruїns collective was founded by Oleg Isakov, Elias Parvulesco and Teta Tsybulnyk in 2017 in Kyiv and is a film and art union.

    Emilija Skarnulyte by Visvaldas Morkevicius WE Bres Artist ©

    Emilija Škarnulytė

    Working between documentary and speculative fiction, Emilija Škarnulytė's video works take viewers through nuclear power plants, deep-sea data storage units and uncanny natural phenomena.

    Borjana Ventzislavova 2024 Mladen Penev Artist ©

    Borjana Ventzislavova

    Borjana Ventzislavova (born in Sofia, Bulgaria) lives in Vienna and works with video, film, photography, installation and often works in public space.