Places _ VR Festival

A visitor of the Places _VR Festival 2020 looks at AR artworks by Miguelangelo Rosario © Places _ VR Festival / Ravi Sejk

Places _ VR Festival

A visitor of the Places _VR Festival 2020 looks at AR artworks by Miguelangelo Rosario © Places _ VR Festival / Ravi Sejk

Our questionnaire

Urban discovery with: Matthias Krentzek

High culture meets sweatpants

Where can you find 200 hand-picked beer varieties? And what makes Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf so charming? Cultural manager Matthias Krentzek tells us in our NKR questionnaire.


Matthias Krentzek



Birthplace / place of residence:

Gelsenkirchen / Essen


Project developer / entrepreneur


How would you describe yourself and your work to an alien?

Probably exactly the way I would explain it to my parents: I start a lot of projects and see where they lead. Or simply with emojis: 💻+💡+😲+💪

What is your drive to create art?

I don't create art myself, but I work on many projects to make new forms of art possible. Why do I do this? Because technical progress requires not only purely utilitarian thinking, but also creative exploration. Where do I do this? At a place that is at the same time the most unlikely but also the most likely place for it: Bochumer Straße in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf.

What do you love most in the Ruhr region in general?

Cliché? The people! Away from the cliché: The ability to deal with new situations, to open up new spaces and to surprise again and again.

Three places in the Ruhr region that you definitely show visitors:

• The Bochumer Straße in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf with its mix of up-&-coming actors and old Ruhrpott charm.
• The Gruga Park, which I am fortunate enough to count among my neighbors.
• The Arena auf Schalke - here you get the best impression of the emotional palette of the Ruhr area.

What makes the arts and culture scene here so special?

The classic concept of art is often dissolved here. Forms such as urban & digital art naturally find a place here alongside traditional formats such as exhibitions & concerts.

In which places can you feel the metropolis of the arts here?

Of course, at beacons like the Folkwang Museum, the Musiktheater im Revier or the Ruhrtriennale. But also in surprising places - like the creative districts, which are often not classic cultural venues. But this is precisely what invites artistic exploration. In addition to the artists you meet here, you'll find street art in the form of murals and graffiti and a lively, growing cultural scene.

Where/when did you have your best cultural experience?

Phew, that's very hard to say. But I'm always fascinated by formats where high culture and people in suits meet street culture and people wearing sweatpants. Spontaneously, one of my own projects comes to my mind: In the VR/AR art performance "Nichts" in 2019, the mixture of invited guests and walking audience and their interaction excited me.

Where do you like to go out to eat & drink?

As a young father and through Corona, you can hardly remember it. I like to drink my after-work beer in the Trinkhalle am Flöz (200 hand-picked varieties of beers!). For dinner, I like to go to places that are unpretentious and cook technically well - you can actually find them everywhere in the Ruhr region.

The best parties are in the...

...heads of those who are up for a party. Make it happen!

What's your next project?

One? Hundreds! 😀 More concrete: Places _ VR Festival (the third edition) & TRANSURBAN in GE-Schalke