chronological | Artists |

Mischa Kuball

refraction house

27.2. 29.4.1994
yesterday with today.

In his phenomenological essay “Wände” (“walls”), Vilém Flusser talks about an Indo-Germanic word stem (>h…l<) whose signified gathers the extremes of the sacred complex, he argued: Hallow and hell, halo and hollow, whole and hole. Walls, according to Flusser, put before us the choice of either stepping outside of them in order to conquer the world and to lose ourselves in the process, or to remain within to find ourselves while being lost to the world. For Flusser, the non-transparency of the walls is virtually the sine-qua-non condition of being human or the prerequisite without which the religious could not unfold. Even if you may not agree with all the details of this philosophy, Kuball’s intervention, which generates its full effectiveness especially at night, demonstrates how the virtually un-substantiated walls of light and shadow feed the paradoxical illusion of indoors and outdoors having been swapped. Indeed, refraction house turns the surrounding area into a stage that invests us with a dual identity:As pedestrians and visiting art aficionados, we are players and observers wrapped into one. While standing in the light, we cast shadows. While beholding, we are beheld. And with the deepening darkness, the degree to which the neighbours are hit by the light intensifies, making them passive extras without whose willingness to expose themselves to the blinding glare the project would hardly have gotten past the brainstorming stage. Unlike in the case of the Dessau project, the intense radiance does not hit vacant work areas, but in some cases the living quarters of next door residents, turning their private sphere into a semi-public one. In this way, for a limited time, Kuball redefines the social situation in one of Pulheim’s central points, creating a stress field around the protected monument, articulating the contradiction between the banality of quotidian life and historic significance of this special place, indirectly forcing normalcy and dread into a union, letting the immediately familiar transition into something obnoxious, but also placing, as it seems, the daily acts of violence against minorities in the wake of the barbaric events of Mölln, Rostock and Solingen in sync with the historic guilt of the Germans as it manifests itself in the synagogue.

back [ 1 | Page 2 | 3 | 4 | ]

Diashow (7 Pictures)

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball, Installation View

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball,

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball, Installation View

Installation View