Light Art in Urban Spaces

Editors: Matthias Wagner K, Sigrun Krauß

Publication, bilingual German / English, 144 pages (44 p. text, 100 p. image, ca. 64 color illustrations), 19 × 25,5 cm, HC, Edition: 900 copies

Price: 19,50 €

Available at the i-Punkt of the city of Unna at or Tel: 02303/103777 or in bookstores.

This book presents the largest light art project in urban space in Europe: HELLWEG - a LIGHTWALK. The project was founded in 2002 and has since been supported by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the city partners, the representatives of the cities, the sponsors and patrons of the individual works of art, the Arnsberg district government, projekt2508 Kultur- und Tourismusmarketing GmbH, the Sparkassenstiftung Lippstadt, the RWE Foundation and, last but not least, the artists involved in the project and the citizens living near the works of art.

HELLWEG - ein LICHTWEG is a project of the cultural region Hellweg with the participation of the following cities, communities and institutions:

Ahlen - Kulturamt der Stadt Ahlen und Kunstmuseum Ahlen gGmbH / Bergkamen - Kulturreferat der Stadt Bergkamen / Bönen - Kulturbüro der Gemeinde Bönen / Fröndenberg - Stadtmarketing der Stadt Fröndenberg/Ruhr / Hamm - Fachbereich Kultur der Stadt Hamm und Koordinationsbüro Kulturregion Hellweg / Lippstadt - Fachdienst Kultur und Weiterbildung der Stadt Lippstadt / Lünen - Kulturbüro Lünen / Schwerte - Bürgerstiftung Rohrmeisterei / Soest - wallmlicht e. v. Soest and Cultural Office of the City of Soest / Unna - Department of Culture of the County Town of Unna and Center for International Light Art Unna e.V.

Overall artistic direction: Matthias Wagner K

Managing Director: Sigrun Krauß

Participating guest curators: Gerhard Auer, Martin Henatsch, Dirk Raulf

The origin of the project is the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park (IBA), a future-oriented program of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia that ran for ten years (1989 to 1999). With great foresight, the IBA laid the foundations for a way of dealing with the medium of light that was adapted to the respective locations.

The founding of HELLWEG - ein LICHTWEG (HELLWALK - A LIGHTWALK) was based on solitary light art projects that had already been realized, were in the process of being realized or were planned in the region, with the aim of combining them into an identity-forming entity and using them as a basis for new projects. Since then, under the overall artistic direction of Matthias Wagner K and in cooperation with the cities and communities of the region, the Zentrum für Internationale Lichtkunst e. V. in Unna and guest curators, new light designs and projects have been initiated and realized. The 1st Biennale for International Light Art - open light in private spaces for the RUHR.2010 European Capital of Culture also developed from the center of these activities, the city network. New institutions, such as Urbane Künste Ruhr, find inspiration and starting points for their own project ideas in dealing with the medium of light in HELLWEG - ein LICHTWEG.

The LICHTWEG, created so far, currently comprises forty light art installations. This path is not a conventional sculpture garden in which one walks from artwork to artwork and which presents changing works of art. The works of light art that make it up are not interchangeable. They are works of art by artists who have become involved with the respective location - with the found architecture and landscape structure, the social environment, the historical and present contexts of meaning, with what has shaped these places, making them unmistakable and unique. These are works of art that can only be experienced through their surroundings, because they form a coexistence with them - with an environment that is formed not least by the people who live here.


Rochus Aust, Richard A. Cox, Jürgen LIT Fischer and Peter Brdenk, Günther Dohr, Gunda Förster, Thorsten Goldberg, Birgit Hölmer, Christoph Hildebrand, Johannes Jäger, Kirsten and Peter Kaiser, Kazuo Katase, Andreas M. Kaufmann, Mischa Kuball, Tilman Küntzel, Vollrad Kutscher, Gereon Lepper, Maik and Dirk Löbbert, Offermann, Gilbert Pink, Mario Merz, Horst Rellecke, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Jan Philip Scheibe, Claudia Schmacke, Frank Schulte, Jan-Peter E. R. Sonntag, Stefan Sous, Jürgen Stollhans, Rosemarie Trockel, James Turrell, Claudia Wissmann

Matthias Wagner K

(*1961 in Jena) is an exhibition organizer, author and, since 2012, Director of the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. From 2002 to 2009 and again since 2011, he accompanied the project HELLWEG - ein LICHTWEG as artistic director. He has curated numerous exhibitions on the cultural history and artistic use of the medium of light and, as part of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, directed the Biennale for International Light Art - open light in private spaces with works by James Turrell, Haegue Yang, Bruce Naumann, Tobias Rehberger, Philippe Parreno and Angela Bulloch, among others.

Sigrun Krauß, M.A.

(*1957 in Großburgwedel/Hanover) studied English, American and Romance languages and literature at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, worked as a freelance editor for various publishing houses and managed the Open Ohr Festival Mainz. Since July 1990, she has been responsible for art and culture in the district town of Unna, and thus for numerous projects such as Europe's largest international crime festival "Mord am Hellweg" ("Murder on the Hellweg") and the realization of individual light installations and events in the urban space of Unna. From 2006 to 2009 and again since 2011, she has been managing director of the project HELLWEG - ein LICHTWEG.