Ei Arakawa, Harsh Citation, Harsh Pastoral, Harsh Münster, 2017 / thieves
In June 2017, this outdoor installation was damaged while on view as part of Skulptur Projekte Münster. The LED-based piece displayed animated versions of paintings by the likes of Joan Mitchell and Amy Sillman; overnight on June 17, one of the pieces, based on a work by Jutta Koether, went missing. “On Saturday night, June 17th, someone—at least two people—came with an electric screwdriver in order to remove a plexiglass cover and steal an LED painting,” Arakawa said in an email. “The work is 2 m x 2.5 m, so it is not something you can take away easily. We don’t know why they did it.”
“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 concluded.
The piece was replaced in July. The culprits were not identified.