Wednesday, May 21, 2008

//GREGOR SCHNEIDER: Art worth dying for?

German artist Gregor Schneider has recently announced his new idea to climax the rest of his exhibitions, dealing with death as the central theme.
This time Schneider will not only sculpt a corpse, such as his "Hannelore Reuen", but has actually announced that he is in search of a volunteer who will dedicate his/her last hours of life to be "exhibited" a part of Schneider's exhibition.The volunteer will become an artwork demonstrating process of death, with the artists aim of confronting society's fear of dying.

The artist plans to this process within a room in the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, which he states was initially designed as a private living room by Mies van der Rohe, and in his opinion in contrast to intensive care units and hospitals qualifies as a perfect room for someone to die a dignified and humane death.
Yet, when considering the outrage Costa-Rican artist Guillermo Vargas (also Habacuc) caused with his inhumane act of starving a dog of art, Schneider's idea seems to fit right in with this controversial concept, as many curators and politicians are already in a state of protest. Although Schneider will not cause the actual death of his subject as Habacuc did, it's moral implications are still extreme, as one could equate this act to watching someone being executed.

Yet, despite the fact that Schneider is attempting to re-mystify the theme of dying in art, and is thereby drawing a thin line between mystery and sensationalism, the act of presenting the real thing rather than making art interpreting the the real thing seems to easy.
The artist claims that this process will hopefully make society see dying as a positive act, and will hopefully erase all negative notions many people connote with death.Yet, this idea does not make Schneider more of an artist, but rather a patron with a low price to pay for the high volume of publicity.

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