PPK // Laura Heuberger

3rd – 16th November 2018

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Exhibition by Laura Heuberger // “Personal Preference Kit”
PPK
mixed media, approx 10 x 15 x 20 cm

Video, sound and writing are at the centre of Laura Heubergers production, to which at times the artist add sections in the physical space when needed, much like clues and evidence supporting a hypothesis.

For the exhibition at Gallery Kronborg Laura presents a work containing the artists own “Personal Preference Kit”, crafted by hand, labeled and filled with selected objects of her own choosing. The content will be detailed following the only made-public PPK list by Wally Schirra from the Gemini 6A mission (labeling general nature of the single objects, dimentions, weight).

The Personal Preference Kit (PPK) was introduced by NASA to formalize the carrying of mementos by the astronauts on their missions. The total allowed weight of the items was limited and the bulk restricted to what would fit in the small bag provided to contain them. The exact contents of most of the PPKs will always remain unknown, since this was regarded as a private matter for the astronaut.

As sending mass up to space was and still is still extremely expensive, astronauts make a very careful choice with the content of their bag. Since whatever items are strictly necessary for survival and well-being is already allowed and accounted for elsewhere, it is interesting to think of what is left. What can you live without, but can’t live without? The objects carried in PPKs are not a necessity but a desire. A surplus by definition, these items potentially bear a powerful narrative to the holder’s values, morals and memories. They are the result of a carefully curated subtraction, and they are left as the desired leftovers. Limiting personal desired items to a maximum volume, weight and dimension requires a very precise, somewhat cynical distillation of affects.

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