Magazine article Art Monthly

Black Cube

Magazine article Art Monthly

Black Cube

Article excerpt

It was planned for the Piazza San Marco for the Venice Biennale in 2005 and for the Berlin Biennial in 2006, and both times was not realised as a result of political and security concerns--but Gregor Schneider's black cube finally came into the world at the end of March in Hamburg, and the city gives it its name, Cube Hamburg. Though inspired by the Kaaba in Mecca its dimensions (14 x 13 x 13m) differ, and the context found for its realisation is, appropriately, outside the grand art-historical exhibition 'The Black Square--Hommage a Malevich', which runs to June 10 at the Hamburg Kunsthalle (see www.hamburgerkunsthalle.de). Schneider has been at pains to indicate that his interests are sculptural and architectural, and that he just fell in love with the black cube, but in the city that hosted the Hamburg cell of Al-Quaida, there have quite naturally been formal gestures made around the work. Schneider has attended Friday prayers with Muslims from Hamburg, and invited them to see the cube, which is being described as a space for peace; the imam of Hamburg has visited the museum as part of an official delegation. Whatever one feels about such social dialogues and the good faith in which they are held, when curators speak of meeting 'representatives of the city's local Muslim community' before such a project it does draw attention to a certain discomfort in the process of communal representation itself. …

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