Para Social 2020, Germany, Hamburg

Body no Body - Physical and Social Distance in Pandemic Times

How much space someone gets, has become a question of political power, of current rules of distance, and for visual artist Christoph Faulhaber it’s a question of art. For the season opening he’ll fill the Kampagel foyer with thirty gigantic plastic balls. The installation PARA SOCIAL will bring the imperative of “physical distancing” to a new sensual level. If you tap them and set them in motion, you suddenly notice how the space you thought was safe just a moment ago can be disputed. The general hygiene concept (in German) for visitors can be found here. #INSTALLATION #PHYSICALDISTANCING #BALLSBALLSBALLS #PLAYSAFE

Para Social" (2018/20) by Hamburg-based artist Christoph Faulhaber is an interactive work consisting of several rubber balls of different colors, three meters in diameter. They lie parallel in the church space of St. Petri and visitors have to make their way between the balls by moving the objects slightly. One way of looking at the installation draws attention to the character of a spectacle and infantilization to profanation, which looks cute or ridiculous, colorful but threatening - like a giant ball pool at Ikea. Quite currently in the Corona crisis, the reading under the concept of "social distancing" is in the foreground. "Para Social" interactively illustrates what pushes members of a society apart, what stands or has grown in between, with what circumspection, caution, fear and degree of control we traverse these new spaces (of fear and safety). Parasocial interaction is understood as a particular social behavior, characterized by the fact that an actor interacts with individuals or groups whose willingness to listen, ability to respond, or even existence is completely moot, but organizationally faked - as with the oversized balls in the exhibition at St. Peter's Church. "The phenomenon is very old," writes media scholar Lars Rummel. "Taken agnostically, prayer also falls under it, or since prehistory and early history, the inner conversation with the deceased. Sociologically of knowledge, it falls into the realm of the social construction of reality." The exhibition is subject to current hygiene rules and access restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When visiting, please be aware of signage, observance of distance rules, mandatory masks and disinfection at the entrance, and limits on the number of people in the church hall. The summer exhibit will open on Friday, July 24, 2020. There will be two identical opening events, at 3 p.m. and at 5 p.m., as the number of guests is limited in accordance with the security concept and all those interested in art should be able to attend. Details about the registration modalities can be found in time for the exhibition opening in the press or on The exhibition is open from Friday, July 24 to Sunday, August 30, 2020, daily from 11 am to 5 pm, admission is free. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Oliver Zybok and is a cooperation with the Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Kunstverein Lübeck. Translated with (free version)


Building or project owner : City of Lübeck

Architecture : historic

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Christoph Faulhaber

Membrane skin : PVC

Project sponsor/ support : Overbeck Gesellschaft, Kunstverein Lübeck


Facade type and geometry (structure) : St. Petri, Lubeck, Germany a five-naved Gothic hall church

Participatory architecture & urban interaction

Community or communities involved : church tourists art

Issues addressed : pandemic, distance, social, physical, antibody, emptiness, spatial restrictions, loniless, power, massive


c. faulhaber

Arne Mayntz

Arne Mayntz

Arne Mayntz

Arne Mayntz