›Solid Skills‹
with contributions by Clarissa Akouala, Pascal Bovée, Lenio Kaklea, Katharina Pelosi, Barbara Raes and others

  • Exhibition / Archive / Performances / Workshops
  • WerkStadt
  • Sat 04.05.19Sun 30.06.19

Free admission

Opening hours:
TUE, WED & SUN 11 - 18 h
THU, FRI & SAT 11 - 20 h

In the summer of 2019, the ›Solid Skills‹ project is turning the WerkStadt into a laboratory for resistance and resonance chamber for special aptitudes. How do people of different backgrounds and ages deal with challenges? The artists taking part have and are continuing to collect voices and stories from the district. Their works tell of possibilities of resistance and individual emancipatory strategies, of processes of change and coping with everyday to existential emergencies. In various media such as sound or voice, fabric and textile or literary language, the artists are shaping a living archive of resistance in which they reveal the working processes and narratives behind their works. ›solid skills‹ is not conceived as a passive exhibition experience, but rather as a shared forum: Visitors can acquire artistic tools and skills, add their own objects to the collection and thus leave tangible traces on and in the exhibition. The resulting archive of art works and artefacts is one of several ›Memory Stations‹ linked by a NRW-wide network initiated by the Academy of the Arts of the World.


Supporting programme ›solid skills‹


SUN 05. 05. 17—20 H
Opening of the exhibition ›solid skills‹ and the ›Archive of everyday resistance strategies‹ compiled in collaboration with visitors and local residents 

›Archive of everyday resistance strategies‹ 

For the Archive of Everyday Resistance Strategies‹, WerkStadt visitors will be asked about their everyday resistance strategies according to a defined pattern. Their answers and stories will become part of a dynamic archive.


Clarisse Akouala 
›Symbol factory‹
Participatory activity

Clarisse Akouala (Essen) engages with symbolisms and proclamations of belonging, identity and nationality, of resistance and subversion. For the duration of the ›Memory Station‹, she will set up a ›symbol factory‹ at the WerkStadt, which will be dedicated to the production of imaginary and self-made flags. Which symbols and colours do the flags of our imagined nations carry? And what do they mean? Visitors are invited to participate and add their own designs into the ›Archive of Everyday Resistance Strategies‹.


FRI 17. 05. 18 H
›Practical encyclopedia‹
Apéritif and lecture from Annika Stadler

Over a period of four months, the artist and choreographer Lenio Kaklea (Paris) investigated bodily practices in Katernberg. She first questioned them in numerous interviews, documented and archived them in writing and then translated them together with the author Annika Stadler (Berlin) into a ›Practical Encyclopedia‹.


FRI 24.05. 18 H
›Dialogic art in urban space. Artistic atavistic strategies of urban intervention, participation and community building‹ 
Talk with Prof. Dr. Birgit Mersmann
(Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History / Art Studies at the Institute for Art and Art Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)

In her lecture Birgit Mersmann discusses globalized forms of socio-political art activism. How can art open up new paths to social and urban participation? The lecture will present various artistic positions, including ›The Rwanda Healing Project‹ by Lily Yeh and ›Drifting Producers‹, a re-urbanization project from the Seoul urban design collective FlyingCity.


FRI 07. 06. 18 H
›Polyphonic slogans – a mobile collection of feedbacks from Katernberg‹
Apéritif and artist talk with Katharina Pelosi 

In conversation with girls and women from the district, Katharina Pelosi (Frankfurt / Hamburg) collected statements and thoughts on everyday strategies of resistance. The slogans collected in this way deal with crises and strength, solidarity and empowerment. These statements are amplified by a choir to polyphonic songs that sound out in Katernberg.

›Polyphonic Slogans‹ (Katharina Pelosi) can be heard at the WerkStadt from the 14.06.

In the Bergmannsdom Cathedral at the Katernberger Markt the audio installation can be heard on the following dates:

SAT 15.06. 16-­18 H
SUN 16.06. 12­-14 H

THURS 20.06. 16­-18 H
FRI 21.06. 16-­18 H
SAT 22.06. 17­-19 H

SUN 23.06. 13­-15 H
THURS 27.06. 16-­18 H


FRI 14.06. 16 – 18 h
›Polyphonic slogans – a mobile collection of feedback from Katernberg‹

Kick-off in the WerkStadt and at the Bergmannsdom Cathedral

Katharina Pelosi (Frankfurt / Hamburg) has collected statements and thoughts on everyday practices, experiences and strategies of resistance from women and girls living in Katernberg as part of the exhibition ›solid skills‹
For ›Polyphonic slogan #6: ›I am the city myself‹ statements embracing dreams and crisis, worries and cohesion, have been transformed into polyphonic songs in collaboration with a choir.
On the 14.06., the #Polyphonicslogans return to town in the form of stickers with QR codes; residents and passers-by can scan the codes with their mobile phones and spread them on.
Between 16:00 – 18:00 h everyone is invited to gather at the Bergmannsdom Cathedral and in the streets of Katernberg, to listen to the experiences of women and girls from the district and to amplify their polyphony.
›Polyphonic Slogans‹ (Katharina Pelosi) can be heard at the WerkStadt from the 14.06.

In the Bergmannsdom Cathedral at the Katernberger Markt the audio installation can be heard on the following dates:

SAT 15.06. 16-­18 H
SUN 16.06. 12­-14 H

THURS 20.06. 16­-18 H
FRI 21.06. 16-­18 H
SAT 22.06. 17­-19 H

SUN 23.06. 13­-15 H
THURS 27.06. 16-­18 H


SAT 22. 06. 18 H
›Writing workshop Katernberg‹
Concluding reading with Pascal Bovée and the participating young people 

As part of the ›Memory Station‹, writer Pascal Bovée (Essen) offered a ›writing workshop‹ for young people from the district. From the WerkStadt, they explored the north of Essen in writing excursions during the project period. Based on these excursions, the participants wrote texts about the extraordinary and the everyday, about the own and the foreign, about objects, places and people. In a concluding reading, they now present their resulting texts.


THUR 27. 06. 18 H
›Beyond the spoken‹
Apéritif and lecture with Barbara Raes
In English with German translation

In her artistic practice, Barbara Raes investigates rituals, mourning and resilience. How can loss be overcome beyond religious rituals? With the project ›Beyond The Spoken‹ Raes develops a new ritual practice and opens up mental and physical spaces to cope with loss.


FRI 28. 06. 18 H
›Archives from below‹
Apéritif and discussion on alternative archival practices with the Archive for Alternative Literature (Afas Duisburg)

As part of the ›Memory Station‹, the Archive for Alternative Literature Duisburg (Afas), which belongs to the ›Archive from Below‹ network, presents its work and basic ideas. Documents of protest literature from alternative, left-wing, ecological, undogmatic, internationalist, feminist or peace movement milieus and publications on strategies of everyday resistance are shown and set in relation to the Archive of Everyday Resistance Strategies‹ created at the WerkStadt.


Contact: Benjamin Melzer
Mail: werkstadt@pact-zollverein.de
Phone: +49 (0)171.976 6389
WerkStadt Viktoriastr. 5 45327 Essen

Contact: Caroline Wolter
Mail: caroline.wolter@pact-zollverein.de
Phone: +49 (0)201.289 47 23
WerkStadt Viktoriastr. 5 45327 Essen


›Solid Skills‹ is part of the project ›Memory Stations‹ of the Academy of Arts of the World / Cologne and the exhibition project ›Ruhr Ding: Territories‹ from Urbane Künste Ruhr.

Supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media