At the end of each Skulptur Projekte Münster, the municipal government of Münster, the German city where the public art show is held once every ten years, typically acquires a few works and puts them on permanent display. Consequently, the city’s streets and sidewalks, parks, and plaza, are filled with dozens of great works from Skulptur Projektes of decades past.
The fifth edition of the Skulptur Projekte closed last month, and that means it is acquisition time. In a farewell letter today, the exhibition’s press team (which will reassemble in the run-up to the 2027 edition, don’t worry) said that the city of Münster is looking into acquiring the works listed below. There’s no guarantee these pieces will end up being acquired and permanently installed, but here’s hoping:
— Emeka Ogboh’s Passage through Moondog, a beguiling and jazzy sound piece presented beneath a popular underpass at the city’s train station. (No word on whether the tasty Quiet Storm beer that the artist brewed as part of his contribution might also be acquired.)
— Hito Steyerl’s HellYeahWeFuckDie, a winning video and sculpture piece by the most powerful person in the art world, according to a new ArtReview list.
— Oscar Tuazon’s Firebuilding (Burn the Formwork), a wood-burning concrete furnace that was heavily used, and tagged with graffiti (with the artist’s understanding), as it sat in a derelict section of town. (On a personal note, the Münster police attempted to fine me €20 for riding my bike in the wrong direction while looking for this work, but they kindly let me go after my credit card was continually rejected by their processing machine.)
— John Knight’s John Knight, A Work in Situ, a giant-size level attached to the outside of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe museum.
— Alexandra Pirici’s Leaking Territories, a performance piece that I regrettably missed because there were long lines every time I tried to visit.
— Hreinn Fridfinnsson’s fourth house of the house project since 1974, an ethereal shining metal skeleton of a house situated in a sylvan clearing outside the city center.
In related news, a group of locals is lobbying to keep on view Nicole Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain, which was repeatedly vandalized during the course of the show. Make it happen, Münster!
In addition, the LWL museum in town acquired Koki Tanaka’s work, and a collector purchased Hervé Youmbi’s Les masques célèstes—a series of eight masks hung high in a local cemetery—and donated four of them to the LWL, with the understanding that it will be able to borrow the other four. The tattoo shop that Michael Smith created will also live on in the form of a collection display at the museum, and tattoo appointments will be offered at some point in the future.
So, Skulptur Projeke 2017 may be over, but some parts of it will remain visible for a long time to come. The rest of it will live on in hearts, in minds, and, in the case of people who were brave enough to be tattooed, on their bodies.