Famous German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer wants to buy a defunct nuclear power station to use as part of his work, according to Der Spiegel. Kiefer is well known for taking on controversial content, having previously referenced Third Reich imagery and subject matter. He has also used nuclear power plant imagery in his work before.
The artist wants to buy the decommissioned Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear reactor, or at least the iconic nuclear cooling tower structure. The nuclear plant was shut down about ten years ago.
Much of Kiefer’s work has focused on coming to terms with Germany’s history, and the uncomfortable legacy of the Third Reich. He has before criticized Germany’s national tendency not to preserve certain German history.
Given that Germany has now taken the decision to completely phase out nuclear power by 2022, there are sure to be quite a few German nuclear reactors that quickly become part of German industrial history. Germany is set to lead the way into a new, cleaner, and more sustainable industrial era, characterised by networked renewable energy.
Given the German public’s current dislike of its nuclear legacy, Kiefer is no doubt eyeing up the opportunity to create a major art installation that will leave a strong impression. Kiefer has stated that,”Standing in the center and looking through the hole in the middle is stunning.”
Using a old nuclear reactor for art may seem weird to many but, personally, I can see why he might want to use a structure with such history, given his previous work. It could certainly form part of an epic art installation, as long it’s safe to be in there. What a eerie and emotive place it would be to visit, even without Kiefer’s reworking of the site.
Do you think this is a good use for and defunct nuclear power plant, or does the thought disturb you?
Image CC licensed by int2k