After NOT falling on my ass this weekend at Urs Fischer's fabulous hole in the ground (see below), my mind wandered back to late November when there seemed to be much grumbling and wondering about "dangerous art". Happily, artnewsblog has cleared up any residual confusion:
Either people are on crack while visiting Doris's crack at the Tate Modern in London or they are just downright stupid. How could 15 people hurt themselves in the first four weeks of the "Shibboleth" installation by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo?
I mentioned a story a couple of weeks ago where the first few idiots fell into the Tate Crack, but that figure has been rising each week.
Times Online has reported that the Tate Modern may have to implement options that could include "higher levels of control of entry, barrier or demarcation lines, Perspex bridging over certain sections or other physical interventions which may become required."
The museum already has warning signs everywhere and leaflets about the work are handed out. So, unless you are blind, there is no excuse for falling into a crack that is clearly marked as a crack (unless you are trying to sue the museum!).
More on "dangerous art" via NYMag:
Can You Dig It?
At Gavin Brown, Urs Fischer takes a jackhammer to Chelsea itself.
By Jerry Saltz
Urs Fischer has reduced Gavin Brown's Enterprise to a hole in the ground, and it is one of the most splendid things to have happened in a New York gallery in a while. Experientially rich, buzzing with energy and entropy, crammed with chaos and contradiction, and topped off with the saga of subversion that is central both to the history of the empty-gallery-as-a-work-of-art but also to the Gavin Brown experience itself, this work is brimming with meaning and mojo. It was also a Herculean project.
A 38-foot-by-30-foot crater, eight feet deep, extends almost to the walls of the gallery, surrounded by a fourteen-inch ledge of concrete floor. A sign at the door cautions, THE INSTALLATION IS PHYSICALLY DANGEROUS AND INHERENTLY INVOLVES THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH; intrepid viewers can, all the same, inch their way around the hole. Fischer's pit is titled You, and it took ten days to build, costing around $250,000 of Brown's money. (Heaven only knows what his landlord thought of it.) The gallery's ground-level garage doors facilitated the jackhammering and removal of the concrete floor and the use of a backhoe to excavate tons of dirt and debris, after which a crew closed off the space with immaculate white walls. There's also a cramped antechamber, superfluous but well executed: A smaller reproduction of the main gallery, down to the air ducts and electrical outlets, it’s sort of a mini-Me You. Ducking through its pint-size entrance is like going though a door in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. You have to crouch as you enter and watch where you step in preparation for the more precarious and thrilling main event beyond.
Fischer's extraordinary gesture touches on the tradition of indoor earthworks that includes pieces from the sixties and seventies by Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Chris Burden, and others, while also bringing together many of his ongoing themes of transparency, transformation, disruption, and destruction. He's cut holes in gallery and museum walls and created sculptures that merge with one another. You simultaneously attacks and fetishizes the attributes of galleries, the qualities that the critic Brian O'Doherty has described as "something of the sacredness of churches, the austerity of courtrooms, the mysteriousness of research laboratories, something that, together with stylish designs, makes them unique cultic places of the aesthetic." You is like a nest, a bunker, or Caspar David Friedrich's The Wreck of Hope, his painting of a ship smashed to pieces in a sea of ice. It is a perfect metaphor for a revved-up art world as it is stripped down by the market.