Opening: Jardin Artificiel
You can see a red desert and blue sky. In the middle of the picture and on a dune are three abstract squares that reflect the light like mirrors.
ZKM as guest at EnBW with Heinz Mack's »Sahara Project«
Wed, November 29, 2023 6 pm CET, Opening

With his »Sahara Project« from 1959, the light artist Heinz Mack developed the artistic vision of a modern solar plantation. EnBW and ZKM | Karlsruhe invite you to the opening of the exhibition »Jardin Artificiel« at the EnBW headquarters in Karlsruhe.

Mack designed a »Jardin Artificiel« for the Sahara, an artificial garden in which his sculptural objects interacted with the space and light of the desert. The light was collected and amplified on the surfaces of the objects, creating literally vibrating light phenomena flooded with light in the boundless expanses of the desert. The desert as a »non-place« offered the artist the ideal conditions to bring light and space into appearance in their purest form. Mack realized the Sahara Project during the 1960s and 70s not only in the sandy deserts of Tunisia and Algeria, but also in the Greenland ice desert, although individual aspects of the project remain utopian to this day.

The exhibition in the foyer of EnBW invites visitors to approach the monumental »Sahara Project« through photographs, collages and objects, and to understand the power of an artistic vision as the forerunner of an energy source that is real today. It shows how artistic utopias can manifest themselves in reality, anticipate and shape social discourses.

Heinz Mack's works, which capture light, reflect it, refract it, and as such elevate it to an essential design element, bear witness to a pioneering achievement that can be found in today's photovoltaics, in the conversion of light energy into electrical energy by means of solar cells. Mack's attitude toward nature and technology raises questions and offers approaches to solutions that gain relevance in light of the challenges of man-made climate catastrophe in the present.



Colette Rückert-Hennen
Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director of EnBW AG
Dr. Helga Huskamp, Managing Director ZKM
Heinz Mack, artist

Dr. Sophia Sotke, Research Associate Atelier Mack


The exhibition in the foyer of EnBW corresponds with the exhibition »Mack at ZKM« (16.09.2023 - 07.04.2024) shown at the ZKM | Karlsruhe.

EnBW has been associated with the ZKM as a premium partner for years.