Mischa Kuball: NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces (2010-11)
A European Capital of Culture Ruhr region 2010 event at Campus Museum, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
Text by NEW POTT Project Partners
European Capital of Culture RUHR region 2010 event
Mischa Kuball: NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces
Campus Museum, Ruhr University Bochum
28 October 2010 - 30 April 2011
On the occasion of the European Capital of Culture RUHR region 2010 events, media artist Mischa Kuball is presenting a 1200 sq. m. installation NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces at the Campus Museum, Ruhr University Bochum in Bochum, Germany. This installation, consisting of 100 photograph-pairs and documentary videos, approaches one the culture capital’s themes “Mapping the Region” and explores current immigration in the Ruhr region. (This area north of Düsseldorf in Western Germany has a population estimated at 5.2 million inhabitants (2008), within a 150-year history of immigration. An estimated 12% of current inhabitants come have non-German backgrounds.) The large scale work is integrated throughout the museum collection which exhibits a selection of modern works by international artists including Bruce Nauman, Donald Judd, Richard Serra, as well as Greco-Roman antiquities.
Video of William from Liberia, interviewed for Kuball’s installation, NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces.
NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces (“NEW POTT” roughly translates to “new melting pot”) consists of 100 sets of comparative photography of migrants/immigrants in their domestic interior juxtaposed against their interior, empty, to highlight the space and their contribution to multi-cultural Ruhr region society. For the project, 100 families from 100 nations—other countries in Europe and those on other continents—were interviewed on camera in their homes and photographed. The documentary interviews are incorporated into the installation via three video monitors.
Bright floor lamps in the photographs have two functions: a floor lamp was given to each immigrant-participant in exchange for a lamp in their interior; and the lamp symbolically transforms the immediate space into a stage-platform upon which stories of life, migration and the reality of being in between two cultures are told. NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces refers to an earlier project by Kuball, Private Light/Public Light at the 1998 São Paulo Biennial. In this project, 72 families in São Paulo were invited to exchange their living room lights with a standardised lamp developed by Kuball which became metaphors contributing to a sculptural-installation.
For Mischa Kuball, one goal of NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces is “to raise awareness about the personal stories of current migration and emigration to the Ruhr region amidst German and European discussions about immigration, as our world increasingly globalises. Ultimately the project aims to encourage more understanding, more tolerance and more open discussion—as we continue to see worrying examples of intolerance in Europe and throughout our world.”
This project is generously supported by North Rhine-Westphalia’s Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport; RWE Foundation and RUHR.2010 GmbH; Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, and artdesigncafe.com.
Video of Timo & Indira from Malaysia, interviewed for Kuball’s installation, NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces.
Naveed from Pakistan, interviewed for Kuball’s installation, NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces.
About Mischa Kuball
Previously Kuball has exhibited installations internationally in several group exhibitions including those at the NTT Intercommunication Center in Tokyo (2008), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2007), the Jewish Museum, New York (2002), and the Bauhaus Dessau (1992). Temporary installations of his work have been installed at the entrances of the Museum K20K21 in Düsseldorf (2005), the National Gallery in Berlin (1999), and most recently at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (2010). He has also positioned site-specific installations on bridges in Berlin and Geneva, and in/on a 23-story office building in Düsseldorf. Among Kuball’s recent solo exhibitions include those at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, (2009), the Contemporary Art Museum in Toyota, Japan (2008), and at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland (2005). Kuball also contributed two site-specific installation for détournement 2009, a collateral exhibition at the Venice Biennial 2009. In 1994, Kuball saturated the Projekt Synagoge Sommeln (1994) near Cologne with light, from the inside-out, to “project a strong presence with its symbolism”. He considers this a breakthrough work in his artistic practice.
For more information about NEW POTT 100 Lights/100 Faces, or image requests, contact Sandra Höptner at hoeptner [*at*] mischakuball [*point*] com or in Düsseldorf at 49-211-371-402.
100 persons/families from 100 countries
Persons interviewed and photographed for the NEW POTT project comes from the following countries: Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangledesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo-Kinshasa, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italian, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, Uzbekistan Venezuela and Vietnam.
Conference in January
A conference will take place on 21–22 January 2011 on the occasion of the exhibition, discussing the issues raised in NEW POTT. Artists, art historians and theorists, literary scholars, social psychologists, and historians will gather to discuss the forms and content of social-oriented art and related issues. The conference proceedings (edited by Friederike Wappler) will be published by JRP|Ringier Verlag, Zurich. For more information, contact Sandra Höptner at hoeptner [*at*] mischakuball [*point*] com.