Since 1990, light has been the central theme of Mischa Kuball’s work.Combining photography, video and installation, the artist explores the different dimensions of light and its declensions (darkness, shadow, reflection...),from the private sphere of the domestic living space to the urban scale of public art. For Kuball, light is not just a visual phenomenon, since it stimulates the emergence of consciousness and therefore intervention. Thus his highly conceptual light installations reinterpret historical or philosophical references, frequently converting the architectonic space into a stage, and the viewer into an actor. The title of this installation (platon’s mirror) immediately reveals Mischa Kuball’s intended evocation of one of the most influential texts of western philosophy – The Allegory of the Cave, which appears in Book VII of Plato’s The Republic. However, by creating an immersive space in which viewers are simultaneously confronted with their reflection,their shadow, and the reflection of this shadow, Kuball’s proposal doesn’t so much question the relationship between physical reality, the illusion of the projected images and the veracity of knowledge, as aim to question the context in which the images, constructed by light, emerge as a meta-reality. A reality which, ultimately, corresponds to the condition of the work of art and perhaps to that of the viewers themselves; ‘and all this [as Didi-Huberman would point out], to end up ourselves as merely an image’.
The installation shown here in the Multipurpose Room of MNAC-Museu do Chiado, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institute, is part of an international touring exhibition of the platon’s mirror project, which was first shown, in 2010 at ZKM – Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, in Karlsruhe