Essen Light Fes­ti­val

Discover the Magic of Light from 1 to 10 October 2021

REMONDIS Light Award

Around 50 applications from 15 countries - there have never been so many top-class applications for the "REMONDIS Light Award" in the history of the Essen Light Festival! This shows the position that Essen has earned for itself among artists all over the world. The winners of the "REMONDIS Light Award" this year come from Brazil, Italy, France, Spain and Greece. From 1 October, they will be enthralling visitors to Essen with their works.

With its transformation from the centre of the coal and steel industry to the third greenest city in Germany and the Green Capital of Europe, Essen stands for a debate on sustainability, environmental protection and change like hardly any other large city. REMONDIS has been cooperating with the Essen Light Festival for three years now and has presented the "REMONDIS Light Award". The focus is on sustainable light art which strengthens Essen's claim to be a modern city in the eyes of the public. It is also about raising awareness for the circular-flow economy, urban space, Essen's streets and forgotten places.

"It is quite amazing how the quality of the applications increases from year to year. I was thrilled by the presentations and am very pleased that we, REMONDIS, can make such an important contribution to the Essen Light Festival," said Guido Hanning, managing director of REMONDIS Region West. EMG managing director, Richard Röhrhoff, also sat on the jury and can hardly wait to see Essen's city centre light up again, "We are really overwhelmed by the number of applications we received this year for the Essen Light Festival. We are already working hard in the background to bring the festival to a new level in the next few years. The artists seem to feel that too."

The Essen city space becomes a tangible experience
The five award-winning installations are intended to create aesthetic emotions in connection with an urban-space experience. Light and art guarantee emotions and trigger different feelings in people. Emotions that every human being needs to survive: Out of everyday life, into a world full of impressions, with encounters, enthusiasm and moments of sensual experience. This is how urban spaces become spaces of experience.

The following four winners of the REMONDIS Light Award will be presented in Essen's city centre as part of the Essen Light Festival from 1 to 10 October 2021. The French-Greek artist duo already won the "REMONDIS Light Award" last year, but were then unable to take part due to the pandemic.

#11 Light Fall | © Mike Henning/EMG

Light Fall | VIGAS - Leandro Mendes (Brazil)

Water is one of the most important resources of our time, worldwide! With this light installation, Brazilian artist Leandro Mendes brings the strength, but also the beauty of nature right into the urban space, a waterfall that stands for life and energy.

This five-metre-high waterfall is intended to raise awareness of the importance of water for the planet, but is also intended to sharpen the aesthetics of regular flow for individual perception: It creates a unique experience in the moment!

#7 The Green Busters | © Mike Henning/EMG

The Green Busters | mammasONICA (Italy)

Dealing with waste, with rubbish, is becoming more and more important, since it is a question of using our planet in a resource-saving way. How can we breathe new life into our own recycled materials and give them a creative use? The Italian artist collective mammasONICA creates creative space, involves interested people from Essen and the region to experiment and put waste in a new light.

"The Green Busters" is analogue and digital animation, but also video art, the production of synthetic soundtracks, projections and light shows, and stands for a sustainable approach to things in life that everyone produces: Rubbish!

#5 Green Marvelous Opulence | © Mike Henning/EMG

Green Marvelous Opulence | Maro Avrabou and Dimitri Xenakis (Greece/France)

Technical innovations have undoubtedly solved many problems in our world, they have made progress and the future possible. Agriculture, for example, has become so advanced that it makes life in the desert possible and permanently flushes products onto our shelves. But doesn't continuous production transform the organism of life into standardised serial products?

This installation expresses the interplay between technical progress and sustainable social development. The Essen Light Festival also wants to offer spaces for reflection that deal with the careful treatment of nature and the environment, strikingly represented in plastic bags on supermarket crates.

#2 Greenhouse Effect | © Mike Henning/EMG

Greenhouse Effect | Maro Avrabou and Dimitri Xenakis (Greece/France)

The landscape invades the car, just as the car has done to the landscape and will probably continue to do so in the coming generations. But how does this correspond to the multi-layered discussion about climate change, CO2 emissions, simply, the future-oriented and grandchild-friendly treatment of our planet? On the radio we constantly hear commercials about new cars and, about their air-conditioning systems, but on the other hand we also hear upsetting news about the greenhouse effect or global warming.

The two artists design the interior of a car with artificial plants and fluorescent light. When sustainability is talked about today in the context of the future of the automobile industry, then there definitely needs to be a discourse on alternative drive systems as well as the consistent expansion of public transport. This is the only way to achieve sustainable effects for the reduction of greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions. The "Greenhouse Effect" is intended to create space for reflection on mobility.

#10 The plastic we live with | © Mike Henning/EMG

The Plastic, we live with | Luzinterruptus (Spain/International)

We live in a time of littering. Plastic waste floods the oceans, our households, streets and forests. It is important to consistently address this fact, especially in Essen, the "European Green Capital". The artist collective Luzinterruptus is dedicated to public space, in which urban interventions use light as a raw material and darkness as a canvas. "The Plastic, we live with" obviously shows how irresponsibly people produce waste.

Luzinterruptus does not only talk about recycling, because that is not enough. The artists want to create awareness for consistently reducing the production and consumption of plastic and for relying much more on biodegradable materials. That would be an essential contribution to a sustainable living space!

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