P.P.* 2014, Künstlerhaus Göttingen

The exhibition spaces of the Künstlerhaus Göttingen are located in the historical Lichtenberghaus, where Georg Christoph Lichtenberg had his lecture room and a study.

The work P.P.* for the “white hall” and the building’s façade is dedicated to the magician Philadelphus Philadelphia. In 1777, during his guest performance in Göttingen, Lichtenberg had a poster put up on which Philadelphia’s program was announced as if it stemmed from the magician himself. The poster claimed that Philadelphia would exchange the weathercock on the Jacobkirche with the weathervane on the Johanniskirche at lightning speed. Thus challenged, he gave one more performance in Göttingen and hastily left the city.

The black banner attached to the corner balconies of the building does not bear either a name or a date. In its dynamic form it is to be seen as an allusion to one of Lichtenberg’s inventions—the lightning rod. Commenting on the superstition of his contemporaries, he referred to it as a “fright rod.” When visitors enter the exhibition space coming from the street, the banner is continued in the form of a black length of carpet. Transecting the space as a walk-on diagonal, it is traversed by a second length of carpet. Also capable of being walked on, it extends the entrance through the door in the stairwell. Both lengths of carpet, “reflected” on their cut edges with the walls and always at an angle of 45 degrees, continue as black stripes on the walls.

In this way, the “white hall” is transformed into a spatial structure in which rationality and irrationality, construction and “magic” penetrate one another, or else incompatibly face each other.