Gregor Schneider's labyrinthine work pulled from Ruhr triennial
Duisburg mayor rules work could create panic four years after 21 killed in Love Parade stampede
By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 07 July 2014
The mayor of the German city of Duisburg has rejected an installation by Gregor Schneider, which was due to open on 15 August as a highlight of the Ruhrtriennale arts festival. Mayor Sören Link made his decision in the wake of a tragedy four years ago, when 21 young people were killed and more than 500 injured during a stampede at a Love Parade music festival in the city.
Schneider’s installation, Totlast (Deadweight), would have involved a series of labyrinthine tubes inserted into the interior and surrounding park of the Lehmbruck Museum. Visitors were meant to walk through the narrow tubes, which would have required stooping and could have caused claustrophobia.
Over the past few months, discussions were held between the triennial and the city’s building control office on safety measures, which were nearing a solution. However, after much thought, Link decided against the project. He feared that Totlast could create disorientation and panic, and “the wounds of Love Parade are not yet healed”.
The Ruhrtriennale, the Lehmbruck Museum and the artist are all highly critical of the way the project has been handled by the city. Discussions are now taking place on commissioning Schneider to create another work for the triennial, possibly in the Ruhr city of Bochum.
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