Tony Cokes stirs up pop at the Zollverein coking plant | 2

Tony Cokes stirs up pop at the Zollverein coking plant |

Tony Cokes for Urbane Künste Ruhr on Zollverein: A multimedia installation with eleven stops – and a craft on the musical scene of the Ruhr.

Music is not just about sound. When you are looking for someone who combines music, or more precisely pop music, with as much of the world as you can, you end up with Tony Cokes. Born in Virgina in 1956, the American is a kind of art DJ: he mixes excerpts of old and new films with interviews and texts, poetic, theoretical, journalistic. There is music for that. Sometimes. Or noises.

On the concrete surfaces of the old funnels above the heads of those who visit the Zollverein coking plant, the Coca-Cola films projected onto them project an exterior and sub-cultural charm that makes them artificial in a museum would work. Here, however, even the gruff pattern of industrial nonsense has made the false glow of pop rough, especially since you can still feel the nose of the ubiquitous aroma of coke and coal in the coke bunker.

Eleven stations with sound, text and video collages

Ten different video animations are performed there, installed on behalf of the Ruhrtriennale and the Urban Arts Ruhr. This is pop music in all its forms: as the engine of the music industry; as an artistic expression, as a vehicle of racist, violent and religious provocation (with Lars von Trier, David Bowie and Kanye West), as an instrument of torture (in Guantanamo and Fallujah), as subject and object of history. With titles not completely free like "1!", "2 @", "6 ^" or "Evil.16". All the more so as the movie and the sound clips (the sound reaches the visitors via headphones) can only be understood using advanced English skills.

Finally, the eleventh facility was created especially for and in the Ruhr area. Cokes interviewed connoisseurs of the music scene and their history in the region and mounted them on a video wall to create collages of more or less controversial sentences (without soundtrack: "There is nothing") , says the artist, would bring "). It is therefore quietly thought whether the link between "Rockpalast" and "the boys of the workers" is really as close as it has been asserted; if the techno scene was really as open on all sides at first sight, as it is claimed; and if the club scene in the Ruhr area has really grown so sectarian.

The opposite of a "solitary art genius"

Tony Cokes sees himself as a mixer and opposed to a "solitary art genius", he sticks and assembles in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp, he says: "And I do not speak of isolation or d & # 39; But also of the exchange, also between popular and high culture and the social dimension of art. "In the Ruhr scene, he was interested in the influence of industrial production and the noise on the music. It was not by chance that he was using at the end of the work "a little Kreator plan", the sound So the group that once had a rehearsal room on the disused Carl mine.

The disappearance, yes, the exclusion of the old subculture, for the cathedrals of the industry saved because Britta Peters also wants to bring wallpaper and discuss it. The Chief of Urban Arts invited Tony Cokes to visit the area – also to ask if old coal and steel buildings should always be reserved exclusively for industry or high culture or not pop. The subculture could be open. At the Zollverein coking plant, this has already happened at mid-term.