A picture of an octopus awakens a variety of associations, from old maritime myths to Paul the Octopus, the football oracle. For a number of years now, it has been symbolically associated with a new relationship between humans and nature. ‘Tentacular thinking’ stands for experiencing the world emphatically with all parts of the body. This development has been largely shaped by the natural scientist, feminist, and postmodernist thinker Donna Haraway, who describes the highly intelligent species as new role models in one of her recent books, Staying with the Trouble: octopods are fluid, creative, and queer creatures. Being separated from their parents early on, they do not carry on traditions in a conventional sense.
For Ruhr Ding: Schlaf, the artist collective God’s Entertainment is creating a walk-in spatial sculpture undeniably resembling an octopus at the Saalbau, which is a terraced cultural centre built for Witten city residents in the 1970s. The building interior, in turn, has been given the appearance of a cruise ship, including cabin life and an on-deck swimming pool. At the very same time, each detail of the installation reflects the group’s precise artistic touch – and the pool is in reality a gorgeous handwoven rug.
The Vienna-based artist collective God’s Entertainment has been working since 2006, in changing formations, in the areas of performance, happening, visual art, and sound. By combining live acts with installative elements, they engender new kinds of performativity.
The installation Cruise Tentare was commissioned as a coproduction by Urbane Künste Ruhr and the Kulturforum Witten.
With the kind support of the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna.
Sat 6 May, 7 pm: Matthias Kranebitter and Akiko Ahrendt
8 pm: Migrantpolitan Solicasino
Also on board: Đorđe Balmazović, Hools of Fashion
The Himmelfahrtskirmes (Ascension Day Fair) in Witten will take place from 18 May to 22 May. On these days, the indoor installation can only be visited in the company of our exhibition mediators which you find on site.