collection

Vechta

  • 1982
  • Reinhard Mucha
  • laquered wood, glass, metal, cardboard, rubber, synthetic material, 2 fluorescent lights
  • (1x) 70,2 x 48,5 x 9,2 cm, (1x) 62,1 x 14,4 x 6,1 cm
  • Location not on view.
  • Acquired in 1997
  • Inventory number 2326

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.

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Description

'Vechta' consists of a flat display case attached to the wall. The case is covered with felt on the inside. The front consists of a door, and there is a lit vertical neon light hanging next to it. This work is closely related to two other works by Mucha: 'Ohne titel (Wülfrath Wo)' and 'Ohne titel (Oberhausen)'. 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.

Like Vercruysse, Klingelhöller and Schütte, Mucha raised questions in his work about the place and meaning of art in our time. What can art still mean, and what is there for the artist to add when everything already seems to have been said and done? Mucha’s answer is to raise these questions for discussion and invite reflection. His images evoke feelings of absence and abandonment, but at the same time they provide a platform which serves as a starting point for new roads.

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Context

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