Marking the grand opening of 21c Museum Hotel in 2006, the International Contemporary Art Foundation commissioned Werner Reiterer to create an interactive chandelier, Untitled, to be located on the corner of 7th and Main in Downtown Louisville, Ky. It was Reiterer’s first public sculpture in the United States.
The sculpture consists of a brass chandelier connected to a bell located on the reception desk of Proof On Main restaurant. When a visitor to the restaurant rings the bell to call for a table, the chandelier begins to breathe in and out deeply while the lights simultaneously pulsate. This clever disconnect between artwork and unknowing participation by the visitor is one of the many ways the artist explores the notion of rules in art and the way visitors are intended to engage with art. Though the effect of the work is alluring at first, the custom made pole from which the chandelier is suspended is reminiscent of a gallows. This alludes to the macabre in Reiterer’s work, suggesting the Ku Klux Klan, lynch justice and the continuing use of the death penalty in most U.S. states.
About the Artist
Born in Graz, Austria, Reiterer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1984 to 1988. He has been featured in major museum and gallery exhibitions across Europe and has become recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation.