Imi Knoebel: Help, Oh, Help
Berliner Neue Nationalgalerie & Hatje Cantz, 2019
In 2009, Imi Knoebel created an impressive “total artwork” in the upper hall of Berliner Neue Nationalgalerie, famously designed by Mies van der Rohe. Though the building’s formal radicalism deemed it to not be self-sufficient, the building has all the same proven to be a sculpture for the future in its dimensionality. The real shape of the space became visible only through its spatial seclusion; the energy directed inward, and the significance of its interior not only heightened, but became part of a sculpture and a total work of art. With the intervention of Knoebel’s artistic hand, at night the entire room of the upper hall of the Neue Nationalgalerie radiated from the inside out. Through the whitewashed glass walls, the building became a mysterious giant lantern within its surrounding urban space. Its light seemed to be the indefinable darkness of the future while at the same time adorning it with a glowing outline.