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 ground-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 / Public Collection
- In the museum