METRO-Net Transportabler Lüftungsschacht
Installation, sheet-metal ventilation shaft with intake pipe
Shaft: 120 x 400 x 50 cm; pipe length: 509 cm
Temporary installation at Kreuzschanze, opposite the stone bust of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
* 1953 in Dortmund, Germany
† 1997 in Vienna, Austria
Martin Kippenberger’s ventilation shaft for a fictional subway station in Münster belongs to a series of works titled Unsinnige Bauvorhaben1 [Nonsensical Building Plans] – after all, people who don’t use a bicycle in Münster obviously travel through the city overground. The city’s high water table and its historic urban fabric will probably also favour future forms of public transport that operate above the earth’s surface.
Kippenberger’s sculpture was making a strong statement that went beyond its ironic reference to its immediate setting. What one saw first of all was a displaced construction element, a ventilation shaft with an intake pipe, deposited by the side of a much-used footpath, on an exact visual axis with a bust portrait of the renowned German author Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. The pipe towered up in the air. Although it was clearly not in use one could still hear the sounds typically associated with a subway shaft. There was no indication of a subway station in the vicinity, and as in many cities only a grating from which sounds emerged pointed to a different level of vital urban lifelines. In 1997 Kippenberger installed similar fragments in a number of different cities, calling them Subway Around the World.
1 Cf. Klaus Bußmann, Kasper König and Florian Matzner (eds.), Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997, exhib. cat. Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Cologne, 1997, p. 248.
- Still existing