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Since Emscherkunst 2010, the joint work »CATCH AS CATCH CAN« by Mischa Kuball and Lawrence Weiner has been in the BernePark in Bottrop. The artwork consists of two parts: the lettering »Catch as catch can«, which Lawrence Weiner placed on the service pavilion of the disused sewage treatment plant, and a light installation in the two clarifiers, for which Mischa Kuball had the idea. Since today, Friday, 17 December 2021, the light artwork has been shining again.

The light and concept artist Mischa Kuball (*1959, lives in Düsseldorf) accentuated the outer edges of the two clarifiers with LED strips. In a moderate rhythm, the light moved as a luminous line around the clarifiers. For technical reasons, the line installation had not been in operation for some time. In the course of the assessment and re-evaluation of the artworks of the Emscherkunstweg, talks with Mischa Kuball for an artistic revision were already started in 2019.

Because no commercially available luminaires can be installed for the artwork, the repair and artistic revision proved difficult. Only after the appropriate technology had been found could the hardware be developed: Each of the 400 luminaires, from the aluminium profile to the Plexiglas housing, was specially produced in close consultation with the artist. Inside each unit are 58 individual LEDs, resulting in an impressive total of 23,200 light-emitting diodes. In addition, all components produced in Germany are designed in such a way that they can be repaired at any time.

Mischa Kuball was on site during the reprogramming and determined not only the direction of travel, but also the length of the visible light strip, the speed of the light movement and the light colour. Thus, the neutral white light in both pools moves synchronously in a clockwise direction along the pool edges as a strip about 4 metres long. With the new technology, »CATCH AS CATCH CAN« will illuminate the BernePark for a long time from dusk onwards. How fast does the light move now? The attempt to catch it will show!

The former Bernemündung sewage treatment plant in Bottrop (now the BernePark) is, along with the former sewage treatment plant in Herne and the former Läppkes-Mühlenbach sewage treatment plant in Oberhausen, one of three disused Emschergenossenschaft sewage treatment plants between the Emscher and the Rhine-Herne Canal that are being preserved as places open to the public.

Lichtinstallation der zweiteiligen Arbeit CATCH AS CATCH CAN von Mischa Kuball und Lawrence Weiner bei Nacht.

The BernePark is home to a total of three works of art from the Emscherkunstweg: Piet Oudolf, in collaboration with the landscape architecture firm Gross.Max, designed the interior of the two sewage tanks under the title »Theatre of Plants«. Mischa Kuball and Lawrence Weiner contribute the joint work »CATCH AS CATCH CAN«. Andreas Strauss offers what is probably the most unusual overnight accommodation: »dasparkhotel« consists of five sleeping cabins made of commercially available sewer pipe elements. The BernePark in Bottrop-Ebel is open daily.

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The Emscherkunstweg is a cooperation between Urbane Künste Ruhr, Emschergenossenschaft and Regionalverband Ruhr under the patronage of Ina Brandes, Minister for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The sculpture path emerged from the temporary exhibition format Emscherkunst, which has accompanied the Emscher conversion by the Emschergenossenschaft since 2010. Since 2018, the Emscherkunstweg has been reconceptualised and expanded as a permanent offering under the artistic direction of Britta Peters, Urbane Künste Ruhr.

Es werde Licht! Der BernePark hat insgesamt drei Kunstwerke zu bieten, eins davon ist die Lichtinstallation von Mischa Kuball in den beiden Klärbecken. Foto: Daniel Sadrowski / Emscherkunstweg
Im Zuge der Begutachtung aller Arbeiten am Emscherkunstweg wurde die Lichtinstallation nun erneuert und zeitgemäßer Technik ausgestattet. Foto: Daniel Sadrowski / Emscherkunstweg
Die Lichtinstallation von Mischa Kuball leuchtet wieder. Die Arbeit ist Teil des Gemeinschaftswerks »CATCH AS CATCH CAN«, was Mischa Kuball zusammen mit Lawrence Weiner 2010 für den BernePark entwickelt hatte. Foto: Daniel Sadrowski / Emscherkunstweg