Atelier Van Lieshout takes over Ruhrtriennale arts festival 

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Atelier Van Lieshout takes over German festival with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly installation

Dutch studio Atelier Van Lieshout has unveiled its largest installation to date: a giant art village at the Ruhrtriennale arts festival in west Germany (+ slideshow).

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

A showcase of more than 20 pieces from the art and design studio, dating back to the late 1990s, has been installed in the grounds of the event's Jahrhunderthalle conference centre, forming an art "settlement" around the hall.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

Named after the well-known Western film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – also the name of a 1998 mobile art lab by the studio – the pieces together form an art village that will serve as a focal point for the festival and a retrospective of the studio's work.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

Dutch theatre director Johan Simons, who also serves as artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale, invited Atelier Van Lieshout to contribute to the festival, which takes place across the Ruhr region in west Germany.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

Set across the course of six weeks, the Ruhrtriennale brings together art, theatre, dance and music, and last year attracted more than 50,000 visitors.

Included in the showcase of pieces is Atelier Van Lieshout's 2005 BarRectum – a large-scale recreation of the human digestive system that doubles up as a meeting place and bar.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

The Head Claudio & The Head Hermann – a pair of giant heads, placed horizontally on the ground – is also on display, alongside three pieces from the studios AVL-ville – a utopian village state created in the port of Rotterdam in 2001.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

More recent artworks include Black Madonna, which shows an axe-bearing mother holding her child, and two monumental canons that draw on techniques developed from the past century of weapon design.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

The festival marks the debut of new large-scale building work Domestikator, which depicts an intimate encounter between a four-legged and two-legged cubic figure. This will serve as "a totem, a temple and a beacon" for the entire art village.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

"Domestikator symbolises the power of humanity over the world," Atelier Van Lieshout said in a statement. "It pays tribute to the ingenuity, the sophistication and the capacities of humanity, to the power of organisation, and to the use of this power to dominate, domesticate the natural environment."

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

"The act of domestication, however, often leads to boundaries being sought or even crossed," the studio added. "Only a few taboos remain, and it is these taboos that the Domestikator seeks to address."

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

Set up by Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout in 1995, Atelier Van Lieshout has presented a diverse range of projects over the years – from a sliding sofa system for furniture brand Lensvelt, to a six-bed capsule hotel that was purchased by Brad Pitt.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

The studio recently presented a hybrid cave dwelling and pool house at Design Miami/Basel 2015.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Atelier Van Lieshout at the Ruhrtriennale

Ruhrtriennale 2015 opened on 14 August and continues until 26 September.