Valentin Ruhry

Rocket Switch

Opening: 2010

St. Andrä Church, Graz: An oversized rocker switch in the centre of the west façade sends out its luminous signal into the public space. As a clearly profane motif familiar from everyday contexts, it takes up the communication function of the baroque façade, but at the same time counteracts traditionally existing representations. Here, it is not a matter of manifesting hegemonic claims in the image of the city, but rather of using the language of an art anchored in the present to make contact with the public and to establish a connection between the sacred zone and the contemporary secular world.


The fact that Valentin Ruhry had the idea of equipping an entire building with a switch and thus 'electrifying' it, is not surprising if you know the basic themes of his artistic work. With playful seriousness, he investigates the technical preconditions of the objects he literally puts under tension and endows with a life of their own: There are socket strips that 'breathe' together (Pulsating Light Line, 2003); a single one, detached from the socket, demonstratively shows itself to be autonomous (Emancipated Socket Strip, 2005).


The 'light switch' at the Andrä Church can be charged with multiple interpretations in a theological context, but its cool, objective glow reinforces its presence in this world - a world whose relationship to the church is not free of tensions and which often presents an 'on/off relationship' as a solution to the problems on an individual level.


Art in Public Space

Marienplatz 1/1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9265



Church St. Andrä
Kernstockgasse 9, 8020 Graz

47°04'11.0"N 15°25'44.6"E