There is heartening news out of charming Münster, Germany, today: a little more than a month after an LED panel from Ei Arakawa’s installation in a field on the outskirts of town was stolen, the work has been fully repaired and can once again be properly enjoyed by all visitors to Skulptur Projekte Münster, the ambitious decennial exhibition that commissioned the piece.
To back up: Arakawa’s work, titled Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster (2017) is a delightful series of seven LED animations that each depict a different painting—Courbet’s The Meeting (1854), a Joan Mitchell abstraction, an Amy Sillman, and more—and that sing catchy little tunes. Part of the Courbet number, as my colleague Sarah Douglas reported, goes, “Performance people? What can we do? / Instagram hype. Artists’ anxiety.” Great stuff.
During the night of June 17, sadly, someone made off with the panel based on a Jutta Koether painting, and it has not turned up since, despite a police investigation. Arakawa took the theft remarkable well. “This is a really interesting ‘performance’ in a way, revealing how vulnerable art in public space can be, and how public space can be violent,” he said shortly after the discovery of the crime, adding that he would ready a replacement.
Now that panel has been installed, according to Skulptur Projekete officials, and it is ready to dazzle. The artwork is accessible seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with hours extended to 10 p.m. on Friday.