Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

Royal College of Art dismantles 'safety hazard' sculpture

German sculptor Pablo Wendel failed to carry out risk assessment before building makeshift staircase for degree show

A sculpture submitted by a final-year student at the Royal College of Art has been dismantled after falling victim to health and safety rules.

For his MA degree show, Pablo Wendel, 29, occupied a vacant fish and chip shop near the RCA, whose alumni include David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Tracey Emin.

Wendel wanted to lead visitors to the shop by cutting down part of the London college's fire escape, giving access to his own staircase made out of junk wood.

But the German sculptor failed to carry out a risk assessment before he built his installation. As a result, the college took apart his staircase and does not intend to allow visitors into the shop where he is displaying his work, which includes old tables and chairs from the school's furniture department.

Aine Duffy, the RCA's head of media relations, said: "Pablo Wendel intended to let people into the fish and chip shop but that can't happen now.

"It's not a safe structure and it can't be made safe in time to open to the public tomorrow. There are holes in the floor and concerns about the wiring.

"Yesterday morning we also removed a hastily erected wooden staircase that Pablo attached to the fire escape that leads from the college building. He was going to take down part of the fire escape with metal cutters to create access to his staircase … The show opens to the public tomorrow and the last thing we could do is endanger lives."

Wendel, whose tutor is the sculptor Richard Wentworth, told the Times he was saddened and shocked by the art school's actions, saying: "I can't understand destroying a piece of art."

Wendel, who has been described as a very promising artist by his tutor, is best known for dressing up as one of the Terracotta warriors four years ago and leaping into the heritage site in Xian, China, where the 2,200-year-old sculptures are displayed.

External examiners will look at Wendel's work in the derelict fish and chip shop and view the wreckage of the staircase this evening. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Don't be the product, buy the product!