Artwork Containing A Bag Of Trash Was Thrown Out
By Luna Lovegood
Aug 31, 2004, 4:25 GMT
A bag of trash that was part of a Tate Britain work of art was accidentally thrown away by a cleaner. The bag was filled with discarded paper and cardboard that was part of a work by Gustav Metzger, said to demonstrate the "finite existence" of art. The 78-year-old artist replaced it with a new bag.
Tate Britain said the work "is made up of several elements, one of which is a rubbish bag included by the artist as an integral part of the installation". The gallery said the work is now covered over at night so it cannot be removed again, and staff have been made aware that the rubbish bag is part of the exhibit.
This is not the first time such a mistake has been made. In 2001 a cleaner at a London's Eyestorm Gallery cleared away an installation by artist Damien Hirst, having mistaken it for a pile of trash. The collection of beer bottles, coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays was said to represent the chaos of an artist's studio.
And in the 1980s the work of Joseph Beuys, which featured a very dirty bath, was scrubbed clean by a gallery worker in Germany.