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 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, Fedir Tetianych, Yuri Yefanov and Driant Zeneli and an extensive film programme in the exhibition.


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 from 17.6.


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




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