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An exhibition to die for—literally - Printable Version

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An exhibition to die for—literally - cyrano - 04-18-2008 07:16 AM

by Gareth Harris

LONDON. The German artist Gregor Schneider is planning the ultimate performance piece: showing a person dying as part of an exhibition.

“I want to display a person dying naturally in the piece or somebody who has just died,” he told The Art Newspaper. “My aim is to show the beauty of death.”

The artist says that Dr Roswitha Franziska Vandieken, who runs her own private clinic in Düsseldorf, has agreed to help find volunteers who are willing to die in public in the name of art. Dr Vandieken was unavailable for comment. “I am confident that we’ll find people to take part,” says Schneider.

He says he would like to stage the performance at the Haus Lange museum in Krefeld, Germany. The museum declined to comment.

Schneider says that if the museum will not agree to take part, he will stage the piece in a studio space in his hometown of Rheydt, western Germany.

Schneider has long been fascinated with the idea of showing death in a museum setting: in 2000 he himself feigned death as part of an exhibition at the Haus Esters museum in Krefeld (left).

The artist, who is known for his unsettling installations, currently has an exhibition at La Maison Rouge in Paris (until 18 May) which consists of a series of rooms of decreasing size. Visitors enter alone and, after progressing through a series of spaces, end up in a completely dark room. They must find their own way out and are filmed throughout.