final highlight of esch2022 now open to the public
An interactive exhibition in the refurbished Möllerei building offers new and surprising perspectives on what Europe means today and highlights its rich diversity. Is Europe a political project, a civilisation, an economic area? Are there aspects that are ‘purely’ European? These are the questions at the heart of the exhibition that challenges stereotypes about the continent by looking at it from new and different perspectives. Tinker imagineers was responsible for the design and attended the official opening on Friday 16 December.
The exhibition explores Europe through six attributes - cultivated, white, rich, Christian, old, national - traditionally assumed to define the continent, while questioning the extent of their validity. However, the exhibition does not aim to provide definitive answers, but to provoke reflection. By regularly changing perspective - from north to south, from east to west, from the centre of Europe to the periphery - it invites visitors to confront their prejudices and form their own opinions.
The unique and historic location is impressive. An old blast furnace in Belval, a heritage site dating back to 1912. Originally a storage place for raw materials and preparing charges for blast furnaces, it has now been revived for Esch2022. In the design, Tinker took the existing scenography as a starting point and made it part of the exhibition and vice versa. Moreover, we wanted to use sustainable materials, so we chose construction steel mats that can be reused afterwards and recyclable cardboard.
As visitors enter the repurposed industrial space – where iron ore was once mixed with coke and limestone to create the charge for the blast furnace – they cross a walkway offering a spectacular view of hanging imagery that presents a stereotypical view of Europe. Continuing over the walkway, however, they will see the imagery from the other side and confront a more realistic view of the continent – of a Europe that is far more culturally diverse. The exhibition continues the lower level in a large space that invites visitors to engage with different aspects of European culture via touchscreens connected to a large wall of projected images. Also on this level, a series of alcoves focus on specific topics. What do textiles tell us about Europe’s economic history? How does skin colour vary across the continent? Finally, visitors walk past the feedback wall. There they can leave their comments and findings, read that from each other and reflect on what they have just experienced.
The exhibition runs from 17 December 2022 to 26 February 2023.