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Museum Goer Falls in Hole that Looks Like Painting

Friday, August 24, 2018

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On Aug. 13, a visitor to artist Anish Kapoor’s “Descent Into Limbo” exhibit took the name to a literal level when he fell into the installation, an 8-foot-deep hole painted black in such a way as to appear flat on the floor.

The accident occurred in Porto, Portgual’s Serralves Museum, where some of Kapoor's work is currently on display.

Descent into Limbo

Fernando Rodrigues Pereira, the museum’s press officer, told artnet News that there were warning signs around the exhibition, and a staff member was manning the room when the visitor fell, according to security protocols. The 60-year-old Italian museum visitor was treated for his injuries in the hospital. The exhibit was closed for a few days after the incident.

Those visiting the installation enter through a doorway that leads to a concrete and stucco room. In the center of the floor waits the pit, the sides of which are painted black so that it appears solid at first look. Kapoor designed “Descent into Limbo” to be evocative of a chasm in space, taking its name from a work by Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna.

The exhibit has been described as an expression “of Kapoor’s interests in the formal and metaphoric play between light and darkness, inside and outside, the contained and the infinite, which underpins his sculptural oeuvre.”

The exhibit is part of a larger display of Kapoor’s works, known as “Anish Kapoor: Works, Thoughts, Experiments,” which visitors can see until Jan. 19, 2019.

In 2016, Kapoor received exclusive artistic rights to use Vantablack, a coating developed by Surrey Nanosystems that can absorb the majority of light. Descent into Limbo was created in 1992, years before the introduction of Vantablack.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Artists; Color + Design; Design

Comment from Lou Lyras, (8/24/2018, 3:58 AM)

That is unbelievable! OSHA would close us up for that.


Comment from john lienert, (8/24/2018, 5:18 AM)

well......hopefully OSHA isn't as stupid as the 60 year old who couldn't watch where he was going


Comment from Michael Halliwell, (8/24/2018, 11:11 AM)

I was waiting for the sign "Wiley Coyote wuz here" to be posted around the hole.


Comment from Gregory Stoner, (8/24/2018, 11:11 AM)

Who would walk onto a painting in an art gallery. Maybe he was trying to tell the artist something and it backfired.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (8/27/2018, 8:34 AM)

Some of the respondents here seem confused. This wasn't like he walked into a framed painting on a wall - this is a hole in the floor painted with a paint so black that no depth is apparent. It just looks like a black spot on the floor. There appears to be no rope or other courtesy barrier - and people make mistakes. Normally floors in buildings are for walking on - even ones with decorative artwork on the floor.


Comment from Trevor Neale, (8/27/2018, 8:44 AM)

Did it need to be 8ft deep; hope there was a substantial layer of soft foam on the bottom surface.


Comment from Harry Gendel, (9/6/2018, 4:38 AM)

Don't get this - a hole in the floor painted to look like a hole in the floor! If painted with Vantablack, a 1 inch hole would have been just as effective, visually, just as threatening but totally safe; more in keeping with the artists interests.


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