Virtual Dialogue Counter-Memories: ​Mischa Kuball & Paul Holdengräber | Stommeln

Counter Memories Key visual (gold) © Goethe-Institut

Mon, 12/07/2020 -
Sun, 10/31/2021


The conversation series Counter-Memories investigates a number of international monuments and places of remembrance whose symbolic significance often reveals a great deal about our relationship to history. The Goethe-Institutes in North America, the Goethe Pop Up Kansas City, the Thomas Mann House, and Onassis LA convene artists, activists, and intellectuals for illustrated virtual conversations around historical memory.
Watch the Stommeln episode about the synagogue in Stommeln here.

About the Place of Remembrance
The synagogue in Stommeln is one of the few places of public Jewish life in Germany that was not destroyed during the 1938 pogroms. In order to create a new perception and attention among the population for this place, the conceptual artist and professor of public art Mischa Kuball illuminated the synagogue over a period of eight weeks. The building illuminated the surroundings like a light sculpture and became a symbol visible from afar. Kuball takes us to the synagogue in Stommeln near Cologne and tells us the almost forgotten history of this special place. In a conversation with interviewer and curator Paul Holdengräber, Kuball provides insights into artistic projects in Stommeln, at the Jewish Museum in Berlin and in Katowice, Poland. 

About the speakers
Mischa Kuball, conceptual artist, has been working in the public and institutional sphere since 1977. He uses light as a medium to explore architectural spaces as well as social and political discourses and reflects on a whole variety of aspects from sociocultural structures to architectural interventions as well as emphasizing or reinterpreting their monumental nature and context in architectural history. Public and private space merge into an indistinguishable whole in politically motivated participation projects, providing a platform for communication between the audience, the artist, the work itself and public space. Since 2007 Mischa Kuball has been a Professor for public art at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, and 2006-2008 professor for media art at Hochschule für Gestaltung/ZKM, Karlsruhe. Since 2015 he has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Duesseldorf. In 2016 he was honoured with the German Light Award. 

Paul Holdengräber is an interviewer and curator. He is the Founding Executive Director of Onassis Los Angeles (OLA). Previously, and for 14 years, he was Founder and Director of The New York Public Library’s LIVE from the NYPL cultural series where he interviewed and hosted over 600 events, holding conversations with everyone from Patti Smith to Zadie Smith, Ricky Jay to Jay-Z, Errol Morris to Jan Morris, Wes Anderson to Helen Mirren, Werner Herzog to Mike Tyson. Before his tenure at the Library, Holdengräber was the Founder and Director of “The Institute for Art & Cultures” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He is the host of the ongoing series The Quarantine Tapes: A week-day program from Onassis LA and dublab.

Counter-Memories is a cooperation between the Goethe-Institutes North-America, the Onassis Foundation Los Angeles and the Thomas Mann House in collaboration with the project Shaping the Past.