Susken Rosenthal (GER): Mirage

Events, Past

We are happy to present the final artwork of our resident from Germany Susken Rosenthal. She was in Košice from the 15th of June 2012.

Please read the text by Susken Rosenthal, German artist and curator whose stay was made possible thanks to a generous support of Goethe Institut Bratislava.

You can see the photos from exhibition here and watch the video about Susken and her work here.


Susken Rosenthal


a public art work in Košice


Opening: 24th August 16:00 pm at Urbanova tower Staré Mesto

Finissage: 31st August 17:00 pm at the City Hall, Košice

Places of installations: Urbanova tower and Medical Center in Západ

Duration: 24th/25th and 27th/28th August 11:00-17:00


MIRAGE* is a project in the public space about contrasts and simultaneity of life in Košice. The idea of MIRAGE is to connect different parts of the city with the concept of mirroring, swapping or flipping their realities in order to experience the city as one organism.

The outskirts of Košice with its huge panel block areas and the historical center are visually and socially extremely different areay. The panel block areas belong to the people that live there. Their unremarkable existences seem to be totally disconnected by the cultural, touristical and commercial flow in the historical center. Yet these two parallel worlds in a paradox way belong to each another like two sides of a coin. The antipodes are characteristic for the identity of Košice.

During the first phase of the project in different panel block areas identical settings with mirrors were placed. The mirror panels were displayed like a carpet on the ground, reflecting what was happening on the spot. They were interrupting for a short while the everyday-life situations. Passersby were asked to cross the mirrors. The moment of crossing became for the people a surprise of being uplifted from their routine. The mirrors worked as a medium that turns the locations into spheres of special awareness and attention. Because of their identical size they generalize the situations and bring them to an abstract level of comparability.

The actions took place on 17th and 18th of August in residential areas near shops, market, playground and and a bus stop in the parts of Sídlisko Ťahanovce, Dargovských Hrdinov (Furca) and Juh. They were documented with video and photography.

From 24th until 28th August, in a second phase of the project, two identical installations are presented at the same time in two locations. One is placed in the middle of the touristic center Staré Mestobetween Urbanova tower and Elisabeth dome. The second is placed in a little medical center in the area Západ that is also a social meeting point for the local inhabitants with some shops and pubs.  Each setting consists of a surface of mirror panels of 24 m2 and a video-installation with monitor, computer and webcam that is connected with the internet. The monitors show live-images that are taken by the webcam on the respectively other location. The images are transmitted via web stream (skype). This way the visitors and passersby can see what is going on simultaneously on the other side. The skype images are shown upside down to reinforce the concept of mirroring. The internet as an interface works as an electronic mirror for the swapping of realities.

From time to time documentary video images from other locations are mixed with the Skype images.

The project as a whole became a portrait of the city and is dedicated to the people of Košice.

Along with the project an experimental video has been produced in cooperation with video artist Michaela Bottkova. As an artistic résumé (like „fata morgana“) this collage with impressions will be presented together with the photo documentation of the whole MIRAGE project at the end of the project.


Concept/realization: Susken Rosenthal

Video documentation: in cooperation with Michaela Bottkova


* The concept for the project MIRAGE was developed according to the optical phenomenon of mirage: mirror-reflection = inferior mirage, skype-transmission= superior mirage, video-collage = Fata Morgana

Definition of mirage:

A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenonin which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky. The word comes to English via the French mirage, from the Latin mirari, meaning “to look at, to wonder at”. This is the same root as for “mirror” and “to admire”. In contrast to a hallucination, a mirage is a real optical phenomenon which can be captured on camera, since light rays actually are refracted to form the false image at the observer’s location. What the image appears to represent, however, is determined by the interpretive faculties of the human mind. For example, inferior images on land are very easily mistaken for the reflections from a small body of water.

Mirages can be categorized as “inferior” (meaning lower), “superior” (meaning higher) and “Fata Morgana”, one kind of superior mirage consisting of a series of unusually elaborate, vertically-stacked images, which form one rapidly-changing mirage. (Source: Wikipedia)

The project was supported by: KAIR, Kosice 2013, Goethe Institute, US Steel, Ministry of Culture of Slovak republic

Thanks to: Medicínske Centrum Košice spol. s r.o., café Brigádnická 247/2,, Východoslovenské museum Košice, Kasarne/Kulturpark, Bazzart

Special thanks to: Adéla Foldynová, Michaela Bottkova, Jan Galik, Martin Burian