Destroying works of art/Kalkfleck folgt Fettecke

This isn’t the first time a cleaner has destroyed a work of art. I remember one of Joseph Beuys’ fat corners – Fettecken – where he’d thrown some butter or something at a plastic shape and it was just left as it was. Here’s a machine translation account of that:

the famous end of the fat corner

a cleaning strength removed 1986 after Beuys death arbitrarily the fat, because it it not as work of art, but when dirt regarded. To 27. October 1987 came it therefore to a process. The country North Rhine-Westphalia paid at that time finally 40,000 DM payment of damages to the owner of the work. Because of this anecdote the fat corner ranks among the most popular, although also to few understood work of the artist.


Cleaning strength
means a cleaner – Reinigungskraft.

When Beuys was shot down over the Crimea in WWII, he claimed he was rescued by Tatar nomads who smeared him with animal fat and wrapped him in felt, hence his obsession with fat.

The latest story concrns a work by Martin Kippenberger called Wenn’s anfängt durch die Decke zu tropfen (When it starts dripping through the ceiling).

Some papers have a picture of it e.g. Die Welt, but apparently only after the damage was done. The whitewash that had dripped into the basin underneath was thoroughly removed.

According to Prof. Dr. Markus Stoffels on beck-blog, the woman will not be sacked.

Die Frau habe in einem „unbedachten Moment“ gehandelt und sei anschließend selbst unter Tränen zu ihrem Chef gekommen, um das Missgeschick zu beichten. „Da ist einfach etwas über sie gekommen“, so Schwake. Das Personal hat die Anweisung, zu Kunstwerken einen Abstand von 20 Zentimetern zu halten – „Das wusste sie natürlich, darum ist sie ja so erschüttert.“ Eine Bestrafung durch den Arbeitgeber schließt der Chef denn auch aus: „Wir schätzen die Mitarbeiterin sehr. Sie ist genug gestraft, weil sie sich unendlich schämt.“

At least according to this version, the woman had been told to keep at a distance from works of art – other sources disagree – but she said ‘something came over me’. This is spoken like a true charwoman. It’s something that doesn’t come over me often enough.

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