Outset Professionals

Goshka Macuga‘Of What It Is, That It Is; Of What Is Not, That Is Not’, 2012

In 2012 Outset supported the production of Goshka Macuga’s Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that is not, a work commissioned for dOCUMENTA (13).

Macuga was prompted by the curatorial proposition to create a section of dOCUMENTA (13) in Afghanistan to explore the possibility of pairing Kassel and Kabul. The commission for dOCUMENTA (13) followed on from research compiled for various international projects, in which Macuga questioned her role as an artist and her ability to respond to the context of the art institution and its role in mediating issues concerning a broader social context.

Macuga juxtaposed, in postproduction, documentation of two events with research and symbolic references combining them in two large tapestries to be presented separately in the rotunda of Museum Fridericianum, Kassel and the Queen’s Palace, Kabul.

In Kabul, in February 2012, as part of the documenta seminar programme, she organised a lunchtime event to which she invited over 100 cultural figures currently present in Afghanistan: artists, foreign embassy representatives, NGOs based in Kabul, journalists and intellectuals. She then documented  this event with a group portrait.

The other event was when Macuga received the Arnold Bode Prize at the award ceremony in October 2011 at the Fridericianum in Kassel. Similarly, she documented those attending the ceremony. The resulting images illustrate the problematic translation of the two contexts: Kassel and Kabul. The work generated in Kassel is presented in Kabul and consequently the work made in Kabul is presented in Kassel. The artwork is not accessible to the viewer fully, only partly in both locations, and will reflect on the impossibility of simultaneously accessing these spaces physically and mentally.