Ohne Titel (Oberhausen)
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
There is a large plate of mirror glass on the floor with four rectangular columns covered in linoleum standing on this a little way apart. They are bearing a horizontal wooden cupboard. On one side this has a sliding shutter. On the other long side there is a black glass plate with the caption OBERHAUSEN shown in white letters. Above this there is a long horizontal neon light which ends exactly at the corner of the cupboard on one side. At the short end there is a shorter neon light connecting with the long neon light. There is a box of electrical sockets on top of the cupboard. The wires run down and then across the floor to the wall of the exhibition space.
This work is closely related to other works by Mucha: 'Ohne Titel (Wülfrath Wo)' and 'Vechta'. All three contain lit neon lights and all three have a reflective area (mirror glass, or a reflecting glass plate). All three refer to German place names. Vechta with the title, and the other two because the place names are also included in the work. There are other similarities between 'Oberhausen' and 'Wülfrath Wo'. They both incorporate linoleum columns and both consist of four bases bearing a horizontal element. Initially Mucha presented the three works as an installation. However, after the exhibition they were sold separately. To Mucha’s delight the Van Abbemuseum brought them together again and they are now exhibited side by side.
In the early 1980s Mucha collected together objects which were meant to be used to present artworks such as plinths, display cases and lighting. He combined these “anonymous” materials with captions referring to German stations. With his objects, Mucha wanted to create places which are neutral in the same way that a station or a railway carriage is neutral. The reflecting surfaces correspond to the windows in a railway carriage, they reflect the public space, the viewer and any other people who happen to be present. The constructions of standing columns bearing a horizontal element can be associated with railway bridges. A station is a place to stop, where you stay for a while, while you are travelling onto somewhere else. Waiting and travelling are times of being temporarily away from home, moments inviting reflection. With his objects, Mucha tries to evoke comparable feelings.
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