Reinhard Doubrawa's Die ganze Welt Sammlung Teil1 is a one-room installation that is accessible to visitors from all sides. The work is a three-dimensional echo of one of the main ideas of the 18th century, closely connected to the history of art and museums: the universal encyclopedia, which aspired to unite the entirety of knowledge from all disciplines in one book. With the title Die ganze Welt Sammlung Teil1, the artist presents visitors with a somewhat grandiose promise that he cannot possibly keep. For how can an artist – so the justified question – depict the world completely?

However, if we take a closer look at the abundance of objects displayed on the shelves, we begin to wonder whether Reinhard Doubrawa can keep his promise after all. For he is indeed able to depict an impressive wealth of possible worlds once viewers give free rein to their own associations. The artist turns concepts into objects that can be retranslated as linguistic images, opening up a space of reference that holds much more content than initially assumed.

Doubrawa's art practice is driven by an age-old theme in human history: the indexicality of things that make up our world, materially and immaterially. With his collection, he documents both imagery and the pictoriality of language and text. Rather than taking a stand for one side or the other, he shows us the quality of and the intersections between both worlds.

REINHARD DOUBRAWA (*1963 in Treysa) is a German conceptual artist. He studied at the Kunsthochschule Kassel from 1990 to 1995 and graduated in 1995 as a master student under Urs Lüthi. Since then he has worked as an artist for various art academies and has exhibited in museums and galleries across Europe, including most recently Temporary Gallery, Cologne (DE, 2019); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE, 2018); Galerie Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp, (BE, 2017); SMAK - Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent (BE, 2016); Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, (IT, 2015). He lives in Cologne.


Exhibition view, Reinhard Doubrawa, DIE GANZE WELT SAMMLUNG TEIL1, © IKOB - Museum of Contemporary Art, Photo: Lola Pertsowsky