Heroes. Longing for something special

The “Heroes. Longing for something special” exhibition was part of the “Ruhr 2010” cultural programme. On behalf of the Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe krafthaus the workshop of facts and fiction designed and implemented the exhibition on 1,200 m² in the listed former steelworks Hattinger Hütte.


180 lending institutions from Europe and overseas made a total of more than 850 exhibits available.”The scope is wide: from the ancient hero myth that has the survived centuries, to the TV hero for an evening; from the beginnings of European culture to the local heroes of the Ruhr area. The exhibition makes a special contribution to the Ruhr in 2010 as European Capital of Culture”, said Dr. Barbara Rüschoff-Thale, the LWL spokesperson for Cultural Affairs.
The tour began with the antique. Hercules dominated as the prototype hero, surrounded by antique exhibits showing his exploits.
A stylised cloister stood for the Middle Ages with the “saint” and the “knight” as the epoch’s two heroic archetypes.The “national hero” showed the search for role models for national self-assertion and the establishment of tradition.A cemetery overshadowed “War Heroes” area. Here, the hero construct and the hero’s physical destruction came face to face with each other.The “Sports Heroes” area showed the media as the crucial hero-maker.
The “Working-class Heroes” made the close connection between socialist ideology and heroism visible.
The “Hüttenkampf” (battle for the steelworks) presented the bitter but unsuccessful resistance against the closure of Hattinger in 1987.Even modern “Media Heroes” from comic books, films and cyberspace followed the pattern set for heroes over the past two millennia with their appearance, actions and courage.The centre of the exhibition featured the “Today’s Heroes”. From here, vistas to all the other sections of the exhibition provided clear conceptual connections.
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