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.
ENTFACHUNG, Aktion/Intervention, Fabian Knecht, MSU Museum For Contemporary Art Zagreb, 2013
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.
First published in Berlin Art Link (The insider’s guide to the international art scene) by Jessyca Hutchens
Fabian Knecht has been living and working in Berlin over a decade. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Arts Berlin, the California Institute Of The Arts and the Ale School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since 2009 Knecht has been a participant in the Institut für Raumexperimente, Olafur Eliasson’s class of impressive young German artists, a course which has given the artist the opportunity to experiment and grow. In 2012, Knecht was working for video and performance artist Matthew Barney in New York. Fabian Knecht’s interventions play with the difficulty to define line marking where supposedly quotidian things are turned toward their darker underside. Knecht’s hope is that art also represents a means of breaking power and authority, that art can take paths beyond convention.