TV works

Skulptur Projekte Münster

The decennial Skulptur Projekte exhibitions have been held in the German city of Münster since 1977. Modest though the scale and international tone of the first edition may have been, that of the second was far greater. Furthermore, the second Skulptur Projekte coincided with the eighth edition of Documenta, curated for the second time by Manfred Schneckenburger. The basic principle of the 1987 Skulptur Projekte, curated by Kasper König and Klaus Bussmann, was the creation of ‘an intensive dialogue between the artists and the city’. The idea was to search for ‘artistic answers to concrete situations, both in terms of urban development and architecture, as well as landscape’, and the artists were expected to come up with ‘aesthetic reflections on the historical, literary or sociological experiences they had had during their stay in Münster’. What made the project unique was that real thought was given to the function of art in public space. In Münster, a discourse began on a subject that had hitherto been limited and relegated to (war) monuments or municipal decoration.

In addition to such celebrities as Eduardo Chillida, Richard Artschwager, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, Mario Merz, Giovanni Anselmo, Luciano Fabro, Giuseppe Penone, Daniel Buren, Rebecca Horn and Richard Deacon, the young generation of German artists was represented, with Katharina Fritsch, Stephan Balkenhol, Ludger Gerdes, Harald Klingelhöller, Hermann Pitz and Thomas Schütte, whose six-metre-high Kirschensäule (Cherry Column) became the emblem of the exhibition. Strikingly, the Skulptur Projekte also included quite a lot of American artists who argued for a form of art as social communication (Denis Adams, Maria Nordman, Siah Armajani, Scott Burton, Dan Graham, etc.), usually by employing architectural or design-derived models. The only British participant was Thierry De Cordier. However, he did not receive permission to place his Chantoir in front of Saint Lambert’s Church. The work was not completed until 2000, for the Over the Edges exhibition in Ghent, where it was installed in front of the Saint Bavo Cathedral. The 1987 Skulptur Projekte ran from 14th June to 4th October. The catalogue was published by DuMont. [Lieven Van Den Abeele]