A new exhibition titled The Future Was Yesterday sees Greek photographer Christophoros Doulgeris join forces with Dutch sculptor Willem Harbers at Germany’s Kunstverein Wesseling, to explore each creator’s personal approach to the aesthetics of machinery. The ultimate goal of this show, which opens its doors on July 16 until August 8, is to identify and highlight connections between art and industry.
It is an apt setting for such a venture as western Germany’s Wesseling, located on the Rhine, grew into a hub for industrial progress from the late 19th century. Today, over 40% of local jobs, which translates into more than 6,000 employees, are in factories, with the city and industry irrevocably linked for centuries. As Christophoros Doulgeris explains, the exhibition was pitched by curator Gerard Goodrow, who had been closely following both his and Willem Harbers’s trajectory – the other artist in the exhibition, who contributes sculptures. “I have accumulated a body of work that includes machine portraits as well as many images with references to the industrial and architectural landscape from various parts of Greece, a reflection of how my work has developed over the past ten years,” Christophoros notes.
The exhibition features about 40 photographic works of various dimensions and 5-6 sculpture installations. Doulgeris’s series have been selected to interact with Harbers’s sculptures placed next to and amongst them, with one art borrowing elements and ideas from the other and both commenting on their shared space. It is hosted in one of the most important rooms used by the Kunstverein Wesseling culture organization, an imposing tall-ceilinged space that spans 350 sq. m. (3770 ft2). Of the four photographic units by Doulgeris, the largest wall, 35 meters in length, is set to host his Santorini project, which explores the iconic island’s history of tomato processing, in factories such as those owned by D. Nomikos in Monolithos and Vlychada, with the latter now functioning as the Tomato Industrial Museum. The result spans decades of industrial tradition seen through the prism of art.