chronological | Artists |

Mischa Kuball

refraction house

27.2. 29.4.1994
meaning local history that has always been marked by the stigma of having failed, ignored and repressed. Accordingly, Kuball does not restore art to itself, but keeps it abstract and at arm’s length from living experience. Abandoning subject-critical self-reflection, it transcends the conditions of its historic possibilities. Within a temporally limited frame, it expands into the social realm without defining any concrete parameters to accentuate special circumstances or to raise even the slightest accusation.Striking to note, the concept of refraction house reprinted here differs from the original version by omitting the moral implications. Light the way Kuball deploys it in this case is at once signifier and signified. The idea is not to cast light into or onto something, but simply serves – quite in keeping with iconographic tradition, by the way – as a metaphor for truth.

“When art,” as Adorno noted in his Aesthetic Theory, “reflects the social coercion in which it is harnessed and by doing so opens up a perspective on reconciliation, it is spiritualization. ”This, I feel, is where the utopian potential of refraction house might be found.For if Kuball’s concept kept its promise in situ, it could possible provide answers to the question whether and to what extent light that is devoid of representation, and that is as bright as it is unspecific, may illuminate inside our consciousness that “perspective on reconciliation” cited by Adorno, even if it was only for a while, or else to the question whether and, if so, to what extent the aesthetics of the immaterial is capable of countermanding the ubiquitous strategies of oblivion.

Armin Zweite



Excerpt from:Stadt Pulheim (ed.), Mischa Kuball. refraction house, exhibition catalogue, Düsseldorf 1994.

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Diashow (7 Pictures)

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball, Installation View

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball,

Synagogue Stommeln, Mischa Kuball, Installation View

Installation View