For the second time, Nicole Eisenman’s fountain piece for Skulptur Projekte Münster has been vandalized. The artist and the online magazine Alles Münster reported that the piece, Sketch for a Fountain (2017), a plaster and bronze fountain made up of a group of androgynous figures, was spray-painted with a swastika, a phallus, and other imagery on Friday night. The police are investigating.
On her private Facebook page, Eisenman posted a note discussing the incident in relation to the rise of the AfD—the far-right Alternative for Germany party—ahead of the upcoming German election. Her message, which she has given ARTnews permission to republish, reads:
“Last night my piece in Skulptur Projekte Münster was spray painted with a swastika and further vandalized, they broke the fountain pumps. This, on the eve of the election in Germany where its predicted that the AfD will enter the German Parliament for the first time… real Nazis in the German Reichstag for the first time since the end of World War Two.”
Earlier this summer, in July, Eisenman’s work, which is situated on the city’s well-trafficked promenade, was damaged after an attack, with the head of one of the figures cut off. On Sunday, the team behind Skulptur Projekte Münster released a statement about the latest defacement, stating, “We are deeply disgusted by such a violation and understand this as an attack against the values of the work”—which organizers aligned with notions of “ambiguity and non-normative body politics.” They also noted that a nearby statue of the 18th-century feminist poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was similarly smeared with graffiti.
“Both artworks were exposed to a fascist form of violence, a violence that homo-, trans-, and intersexual people have to face in real life everyday in many places,” the statement continued. “We express our solidarity with people of any color or sexual identity and we strongly condemn the murderous propaganda of all right-wing parties.”