Kaa, die Schlange

2007, Barbara Trautmann

  • © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Foto: Wolfgang Günzel
    Kaa, die Schlange (Kaa, the snake) by Barbara Trautmann
    © Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Photo: Wolfgang Günzel

About the work

Kaa, die Schlange (Kaa the python) by Barbara Trautmann is located in front of the lift tower in the tunnel leading into the Richard Meier Building on the rise overlooking the Rhine. Inspired by the flowing of the Rhine and the trains rushing past, it was created especially for this location. By selecting round luminescent elements the artist refers not only to the form but also to the tunnel's function as a linking element.


The light installation is 18 metres long and consists of 90 luminescent rings which have a diameter of 70 centimetres. The rings are mounted offset to each other. This creates the impression of a spiral-shaped snake slithering forwards.

With Kaa, die Schlange Barbara Trautmann is referring to Rudyard Kipling's world-famous Jungle Book and the film of the same name by Walt Disney. In the film Kaa was depicted as having huge eyes with concentric circles which radiated a dangerously hypnotic effect.

However, the light installation also shows the movement of light within a space. The arrangement of the circular shapes imitates the structures of collimated light. In this respect the light object is a visible path of light.

About the artist

Barbara Trautmann was born in Oberhausen in 1966. She studied graphic design and exhibition design at Pforzheim Univeristy as well as scenography, painting and three-dimensional design at Karlsruhe University of Art and Design (HfG). She lives and works in Berlin and is famous in particular for her art in the public space.

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