Josef Zky About


thermal blankets, light
installation view Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

As a multi-layered conundrum, this temporary installation traced the field of tension between institutional, individual and collective production of meaning and their respec-tive referentialities.

For the duration of the exhibition, the site-specific installation added a monumental lettering to the Düsseldorf cityscape: S U M. Shortly before, the glazed facade of another architectural landmark of the city, the Victoria Tower, was crowned with a new insurance logo: ERGO. It is located exactly opposite the historically significant training center.

The spatial tension (between the two buildings) of a few hundred meters branches out fur-ther linguistically in the SUM: in its Latin reading, which the ERGO seemed to suggest, lies in-dividual self-assertion, in the English however the mass, the collective.

In everyday language, René Descarte's „cogito ergo sum“ resonates strongly in both German and English, since it has meanwhile entered pop culture in countless variations.

The lettering was applied in negative onto the central windows of the Academy’s auditorium. From the outside it mirrored the color of the sky in daylight, adding an illusion of flatness to the monumental building. At night time the single letters where illuminated in red, just as the insurances ERGO logo. From the inside visitors to the exhibition encountered another dimen-sion of the work: seemingly gilded and mirror-inverted, it spelled out M U S, adding to the classically redecorated interior.