Platons Mirror, 2011 ff. / Photo: ONUK / © Archive Mischa Kuball, Düsseldorf / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Platons Mirror, 2011 ff.
Düsseldorf-based media artist Mischa Kuball is among the few artists who has consistently understood light’s (socio-)political dimensions and used the media accordingly in numerous works and installations. In his new exhibition project platon's mirror, two additional aspects are included: a perception-aesthetics component, as well as the possibility of a novel type of image generation through computer tomography. This gives rise to highly topical issues within art, and for it. Within the project, light politics and media politics are re-negotiated.
The idea for platon's mirror is based on one of the most influential stories within European literature: Plato’s cave allegory. In it, the philosopher draws a distinction between two forms of reality: the reality of the visible world and the (true) reality of ideas. For an artist such as Kuball, who is in a class of his own in his confrontation with the phenomenon of light in his work, the cave allegory necessarily became an artistic challenge. In simple and highly effective installations using projectors, silver foil, photographs and videos, Kuball creates spaces that can be considered analogous to the situation in Plato's story about the cave. On the other hand, in his photographs and videos Kuball translates the complex relationships among light source, reflection, silhouettes, and representation into seemingly endless stages of mediation, within which reality is continually newly constituted as the reality of its reflection.
Kuball's engagement with the cave allegory occurs in an era in which the problem of reality is viewed almost exclusively in sociological and political terms rather than philosophical ones. The talk of the "performativity" of everything real seems to render obsolete any question of what is truly real within reality. Kuball's recourse to Plato is tied to the question of whether all reality can so simply be interpreted as a social construct, and whether human reason is still useful when it comes to comprehending a distinction between reality and apparition. In this sense, platon’s mirror can be seen as not only an attempt to problematize the timeliness of Plato, but moreover, to again question the classical linking of the metaphor of light and the idea of Enlightenment thought.
Supplementing the project, ca. forty black-and-white computer tomography images will be on display in the exhibition. The pictures are images of photographic equipment, which amounts to the computer tomographic penetration of cameras and video cameras. The redundancy of the medial process likewise brings up questions related to reality and its reproduction.
Curator: Andreas F. Beitin
In addition to the exhibition series, a reader designed by Christoph Keller will be published in spring 2012. It will be edited by Andreas F. Beitin, Blair French, and the Goethe Institut and contains texts by Andreas Beitin, Hans Belting, Horst Bredekamp, Bazon Brock, Martina Dobbe, Leonhard Emmerling, Blair French, Ursula Frohne / Christian Katti, Wulf Herzogenrath, Friedrich Kittler, Friedhelm Mennekes, Hans Ulrich Reck, Yukiko Shikata, Peter Sloterdijk, Bernhard Waldenfels, Peter Weibel, John C. Welchman, Duncan White.
The exhibition 'Mischa Kuball. platon's mirror' will be shown in an international tour with a total of fifteen stations (in cooperation with the Goethe-Institute and artspace Sydney). The first show took place at the ZKM in Karlsruhe.
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
Opening: 12 February 2011
Exhibition dates: 13 February – 3 April 2011
Opening: 31 August 2011
Exhibition dates: 1 – 30 September 2011
Opening: 5 December 2011
Exhibition dates: 6 December 2011 – 5 January 2012
MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening: 08 March 2012
Exhibition dates: 9 - 25 March 2012
http://www.mnac.ro/ (previous events)
SAMSI – Sofia Arsenal Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening: 05 April 2012
Exhibition dates: 6 - 25 April 2012
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design
Opening: 03 May 2012
Exhibition dates: 4 - 26 May 2012
Symposium: 10 and 11 May 2012
Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening: 21 June 2012
Exhibition dates: 22 June - 22 July 2012
Opening: 7 September 2012
Exhibition dates: 8 - 23 September 2012
further information/ weitere Information:
art magazine: Blog von Burkhard Maus
New Scientist (Blog by Wendy Zuckerman)