• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Artist inspired after clumsy cleaner bins her masterpiece
Photo: Romana Menze-Kuhn

Artist inspired after clumsy cleaner bins her masterpiece

The Local · 3 Feb 2016, 14:48

Published: 03 Feb 2016 12:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2016 14:48 GMT+01:00

Perhaps the cleaner can be forgiven for thinking the work of art was no more than a few scattered pieces of debris - the installation “Dwelling 6/2016” was in a church rather than a gallery, and the effect the artist was going for was to show the unstable life of refugees as they arrive in Europe.

At the centre of the work was a stack of pallets covered in foil emergency blankets, this was surrounded by foil figurines reminiscent of people adrift at sea.

The pallets represent the way refugees are transported around Europe like a cargo, while the safety blankets symbolized warmth, or the lack of it, Menze-Kuhn told The Local

But this subtlety was lost on the cleaner at the Phillippus Church in Mannheim, who swept up the foil statues and threw them in the bin.

"I though about what I could do," Menze-Kuhn said. "I knew I couldn't repair it."

The she had a brainwave.

She went and found the bin with the foil remains in it and simply put it in front of the pallets.

"The parts which the cleaner put in the bin symbolized for me all the refugees who are coming here that nobody knows what to do with," she said. "It had a deep poignancy."

"It's unleashed a big discussion," she adds

Photo: Romana Menze-Kuhn

Phillipus Church's pastor Kayra Seufert for one was astounded by the new direction.

Story continues below…

In its new form “the fundamental statement of the work has been drastically changed,” she told Die Welt

This is far from the first time a cleaner has considered a work of modern art fit for the bin.

In Milan last year, cleaners swept up an exhibit called 'We were going to dance tonight', mistaking the empty bottles and ciagrette buts for debris from the previous night's party.

A Damien Hirst collection of beer bottles, coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays was thrown out of an exhibition in London in 2001, while in 2004 a bag of paper and cardboard by German artist Gustav Metzger was cleared away at the Tate Britain.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

France church attacker had been arrested in Germany
Photo: DPA

A neighbour described the man as a "ticking time bomb".

Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,129
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd