TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Authorities close Downtown art installation blamed for seizures

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

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 msantoni@tribweb.com.

Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Steelers should corner the market at NFL Draft
  2. Photo gallery: Steelers 1st-round draft picks
  3. Riots in Baltimore raise questions about police response
  4. Most talent in NFL Draft play at Steelers’ positions of need
  5. Pittsburgh area unemployment ticks up
  6. Water main break disrupts Downtown traffic
  7. Hog Father’s eatery chain ferries barbecue to workers at gas well pads
  8. Grand jury presentment: AG Kane lied, attempted to cover up leak
  9. Former Tennessee DE Hendrix announces transfer to Pitt
  10. Man found dead in Lower Burrell
  11. Steelers receiver Brown attends workouts despite previous comments