Authorities close Downtown art installation blamed for seizures
By Matthew Santoni
Published: Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, 6:15 p.m.
Authorities temporarily shut down a room-sized art installation Downtown on Sunday night because three visitors reported having seizures inside since it opened Friday.
An 18-year-old woman was the latest to experience seizurelike symptoms Sunday afternoon inside the installation on Liberty Avenue, titled “Zee,” by Austrian artist Kurt Hentschlager. The woman was treated at the scene and released.
Hentschlager could not be reached.
District EMS Chief Paul Sabol said it was the third seizure reported at the gallery since the installation opened Friday.
Before entering, patrons must sign a waiver that describes the exhibit as “intense stroboscopic light in combination with thick artificial fog, resulting in a loss of spatial orientation.” The waiver says that the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the artist can't be held responsible for any injuries.
It warns visitors that anyone with a personal or family history of photosensitive epilepsy should not go inside, nor should patrons with breathing problems, heart problems, migraines, claustrophobia or anxiety. It says the fog isn't harmful, even at high levels of exposure.
Firefighters found no dangers when they measured the air quality, Sabol said.
The exhibit will be temporarily closed and changes could be made, Sabol said. He emphasized that not all visitors to the installation experienced symptoms.
“Zee” has been featured in Pittsburgh galleries other times, including an installation at the Wood Street Gallery in 2008 and in its current location next to the ToonSeum at 943 Liberty Ave. in 2009.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust spokeswoman Shaunda Miles said some patrons had seizures at the previous installations as well.
The installation is scheduled to remain until Oct. 27. Miles did not know when it might reopen.
Patrons and workers inside the fog-filled front room of the installation declined to comment.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- That’s a Jeep Cherokee? No retro in 2014 model
- For Steelers defense, it’s all a matter of trust
- Jokinen takes center stage as fill-in for Pens’ Malkin
- Steelers notebook: Woodley expects to start Sunday vs. Dolphins
- Penguins notebook: Malkin to miss 2nd straight game Saturday
- Pitt slows down Loyola Marymount, 85-68
- Long-overdue memorial to region’s World War II vets opens
- Ex-Pirate Jones close to signing with Marlins
- High school basketball roundup: Top-ranked Elizabeth Forward wins opener
- Kovacevic: Keeping faith in Letang is simple
- Duquesne women’s basketball off to quick start in post McConnell-Serio era