On October 1, at 12pm, a cloud of thick black smoke began to billow from the top of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art causing many passers-by to assume that the museum was burning. This controlled simulation event was a new work by artist Fabian Knecht, whose related series earlier in the year, ENTLADUNG, entailed a number of carefully executed public explosions in and around the centre of Berlin. Art has long been in the business of intervening into everyday life, but few works play so candidly with our everyday fears. And yet the power of these works lies not in their ability to merely provoke fear, but in the way they reveal public disasters to already be a type of aesthetic experience and spectacle. As art attempts to break the bonds that bind it to the hermetically sealed art world, to literally explode into everyday life, it is telling that Knecht has chosen to symbolically represent the destruction of the art museum. But as the smoke clears, and anxieties abate, also comes the knowledge that the museum may be one of very few places that would allow such a simulation to take place. Below are images and a video of the intervention in Zagreb.
Fabian Knecht: www.fabianknecht.de