In November 2011 a cleaner at Ostwall Museum in Dortmund destroyed a Martin Kippenberger work by removing limescale which was an element of the artwork. The irreversible destruction of the piece of art which caused an uproar in the media, was not documented comprehensively by the museum at the time.
Ostwall Museum is run according to the theory of Museum As Powerstation by Alexander Dorner. The teory criticizes the old-fashioned art institutions which, according to its author, are just a place of collecting relics and escaping from life. Dorner suggests replacing this concept with that of a museum as a catalyst for interactive discussion and development.
In the context of the concept of the Museum as Powerstation the cleaning of the work seems to be a highly interesting performative act which should prompt some analysis from critics and museum alike. Even if performed unconsciously, the act does rise the issue of access to art and the relation between the art and the art receiver.
To commemorate the event in Dortmund I baked Kippenberger Cookies. They are an energy sugar dose decorated with icing, a reminder of the limescale removed from the original Kippenberger artwork.
The guests at the Kunstlerhaus had to make the decision whether they will eat the cookies presented in such an ambiguous manner.