Hundreds of Leipzig citizens gathered to honor the director of the Museum für Zeitgenössiche Kunst, who was about to leave the institution to go into retirement and had invited the art scene to his farewell ceremony in the institution.
As all of the seats filled up around the stage, his place in the front row remained empty.
On the stage stood a new sculpture, a drum set and a speech pulpit, ready for the mayor, a fellow museum director, and other officials to hold their goodbye laudations.
But nobody wanted to start without the director. The situation changed when Jankowski walked on stage and admitted that the old director inspected the new sculpture just a moment before the audience had arrived . . . and by accident fell in. To not harm either the director or the sculpture, they had decided to rescue the director after the ceremony. He was well inside the sculpture: he could hear everything and was even ready to hold his own goodbye speech in his new position.
A microphone was placed in front of the sculpture and the audience could hear the beat of his heart, at the same time as all the speeches.
Now the sculpture, whose form was inspired by a drum set packed in cases and stapled into a column, belongs to the museum’s collection. Its sound system emits the recorded heartbeats, the director’s speech, as well as the drum solo that was part of the ceremonial act.