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Hamburger Bahnhof Turns Off Flavin Installation in Response to Energy

November 02, 2022 5:00 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

Reposted from Blooloop

Hamburger Bahnhof, a contemporary art gallery in Berlin, has turned off its Dan Flavin work for the first time in 26 years in response to the energy crisis.

The neon work of art usually illuminates the facade of the museum’s building, but in a bid to save money on energy costs, Hamburger Bahnhof has turned off the lights. 

The artwork, which features green and blue fluorescent tubes, has greeted guests since the gallery opened in 1996.

“It is important that we as an internationally renowned museum set an example in the current situation and make our contribution to saving scarce resources,” the institution’s co-directors Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath said in a joint statement.

“We hope that this difficult step for us will also inspire rethinking sustainable museumplanning in general.”

The museum’s decision comes after an announcement in July by Bettina Jarasch, Berlin’s senator for the environment, that the architectural lighting for the city’s monuments would be shut off to conserve power.

These include the Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column. The rules currently only apply to public buildings. However, private cultural organisations including Hamburger Bahnhof and the Julia Stoschek Foundation are doing the same.

“Anyone that has a public voice, whether in a small organization, or the Hamburger Bahnhof as the national gallery of contemporary art, has the responsibility to use it wisely in contributing to the general questions of the society it operates in,” Fellrath told The Art Newspaper.

“In that sense, we do see it as one of our main tasks to lead the discourse on issues of sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.”

“We are sure that many museums are asking similar questions at the moment, lastly also due the skyrocketing energy prices that will have a significant impact on cultural funding at large,” he added.

Currently, the Flavin installation is set to be switched off until the end of March 2023.

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