Security System for Philipsz at Münster; Eliasson Prepares for SF MoMA; Daniel Richter Hits the Streets; Julius Koller (1939–2007)


First, Michael Asher's trailer went temporarily missing from this year's Skulptur Projekte Münster. Now, security has been added to Susan Philipsz's sound installation The Lost Reflection to prevent further thefts. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, two of the eight loudspeakers in the work have already been stolen from the bridge over the Aasee River. Local police offered the idea of adding an electric security system to deter vandals. Philipsz's piece, which recounts E. T. A. Hoffmann's tales, has become one of the most popular in the outdoor sculpture event.


The Süddeutsche Zeitung's Holger Liebs paid a visit to Olafur Eliasson at his Berlin studio, where the Danish artist is preparing for his upcoming retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—and for a few other projects. From the sound of Eliasson's remarks, the show promises to be far-reaching. “My observation is that the artistic avant-garde, with its visions, excluded itself from society,” said the artist. In contrast to the “non-places” of modernist utopian visions, Eliasson's studio—which employs thirty people, including twelve architects—is more realistic. “My laboratory is not a satellite of society. It's feasible; there's a real economy and material that you can put your hands on.”

Since Eliasson wants art to have an integrated function in society, his studio shies away from commercial fetishism. “So that art finds its place in the world today,” says Eliasson, “it must leave ideas of exclusivity and egoism behind—it must be inclusive and recognize causalities. That sounds incredibly holistic, but it's not meant like that. My last book was called Your Commitment Has Consequences. That's the way I want to operate my studio. It's a part of our time.” The Eliasson survey, titled “Take Your Time,” begins September 8 at SF MoMA.


Visitors last week to Paris's Centre Pompidou may have recognized a familiar face among the street artists who do portraits of tourists outside the museum: none other than the German painter Daniel Richter. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's Niklas Maak reports, Richter joined the street artists incognito and spent two days doing portraits for sums far less than his work typically command in galleries.

But a series of photographs of Richter on the job suggests that he might be better off sticking to painting and its economic rewards. “In the late afternoon Richter's wife comes by the Centre Pompidou,” writes Maak. “The artist had taken in about fifty euros by this point in time. His wife takes the money and lets herself be drawn by a Taiwanese artist [working] next to her husband. The portrait costs fifty euros: the total income for nearly all of the Richter drawings, exchanged for a wiped portrait.”

JULIUS KOLLER (1939–2007)

The Slovakian artist Julius Koller has died at the age of sixty-eight. As Le Monde and Agence France-Presse report, the painter, graphic designer, and photographer was a key figure in Conceptual art in Slovakia. Koller was part of the generation of artists who attempted to break the cultural isolation of the former Czechoslovakia under communism in the the '60s. Koller's central contributions from that period were the Anti-Happening in 1965 and UFO (Universally Cultural Futurological Operations) in 1970. Among numerous other exhibitions, Koller participated in the 2003 Venice Biennale.

Jennifer Allen