MNAC, Bucharest: Platon’s Mirror

Mischa Kuball, Platon’s Mirror

Curator: Andreas F. Beitin
7.03 – 25.03.2012

Opening: Wednesday 7.03, 19h00

Conference: Prof. Mischa Kuball, Public space / public lab / politics of light
Introduced by Ruxandra Balaci
Thursday 8.03, 18h00

“Plato’s allegory of the cave in the 7th book of The Republic is one of the most influential texts of European literature. In the allegory of the cave Plato draws a distinction between two forms of reality: the reality of the visible world and the (true) reality of ideas. This distinction between a false reality of apparition and a true reality, accessible only to the enlightened, not only had a huge influence onthe philosophy of Christianity, but also on the entire philosophy of the Renaissance. Without Plato’s allegory, neither the Gothic cathedrals with their light-symbolism nor the painting, sculpture nor would architecture of the High Renaissance have been possible.

Despite Nietzsche’s wrathful rejection of Platonism as an infuriating denial of the visible and tangible world, the discussion of Plato’s ideas remained a major task for the philosophy of the 20th Century (e.g. Karl Popper, Alain Badiou) – and a very successful basis for films (e.g. the Matrix trilogy).
As an artist Mischa Kuball engages with the phenomenon of light like no­body else and so at a certain point Plato’s allegory had to become a major theme in his work. In very simple and highly effective installations utilising projectors, silver foil, photographs and videos, Kuball creates spaces that can be considered analogous to the situation in Plato’s text about the cave. In photographs and vi­deos Kuball translates the complex relationships between light source, reflection, silhouettes and representation into seemingly endless transformations of reality into the reality of its reflection and vice versa.

Kuball’s engagement with the allegory of the cave takes place in an era in which the problem of reality is barely considered in philosophical, sociological or political terms. The current fascination with the ‘performativity’ of everything real apparently makes redundant any question what within reality might actually be real. Kuball questions whether the problem of reality can so easily be discarded by declaring reality as only socially constructed. He asks whether ratio and the intellect are still useful when it comes to comprehending a distinction between reality and appariti­on. In this sense, Kuball’s work can not only be seen as an attempt at re-actualizing Plato, but moreover as an attempt to question anew the classic connection bet­ween the metaphor of light and the idea of Enlightenment.”
Leonhard Emmerling

Mischa Kuball Platon’s Mirror is organised by Goethe Institut and MNAC Bucharest.

Mischa Kuball (b. 1959) lives and works in Düsseldorf and has held the Chair of Media Art: Holography and light art at the Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne . The latest exhibitions include: 'Platon' mirror ', ZKM Karlsruhe, Artspace Sydney (2011), public aplphabet, DKM museum and gallery DKM , Duisburg (2010), 'Private Light for the Raday Utca', Goethe Institute Budapest (2008), Metaphases', Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz (2007), ‘Space – speed – speech', Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2005), 'Flash Planet 2005', IMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2005), 'Public Eye', Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2002).

Partener MNAC: BRD Groupe Societe Generale
Sponsor: Murfatlar
Parteneri media: Igloo Habitat & arhitectura, Zeppelin, 24Fun, Radio France Internationale,, Cocor MediaChannel

National Museum of Contemporary Art

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