Gregor Schneider's Sweet Scent Edinburgh 2013 to continue the artist's line of powerful installations
The controversial German artist appears in the capital as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2013
The words ‘major coup’ might be flung at all sorts of interesting shows this August, but take it from us, this one is bona fide. The German artist Gregor Schneider is someone whose works might conservatively be described as challenging, but also one whose sculptures combine to create their own hugely powerful aesthetic, moral and political framework. After being refused permission to show it in Venice and Berlin, his Cube Hamburg 2007 was shown in the city of its name, with the design’s strong resemblance to the Mecca’s Kaaba, or Grand Mosque, drawing comment. The year after, he would have to defend himself against criticism of a voiced idea to place someone ‘dying naturally in peace or somebody who has just died’ in a gallery situation.
Perhaps his most famous work is Haus u r in Mönchengladbach, which was rebuilt at the Venice Biennale in 2001 as 'Totes haus u r', winning the Golden Lion that year. An entire townhouse which Schneider has been working on since the mid-1980s, it includes such unnerving features as rooms within rooms and rooms which can be ‘moved’ mechanically, as well as exterior lighting which gives an unreal sense of what time of day it is outside.
What will be happening at Summerhall with the new work Süßer Duft Edinburgh 2013 (Sweet Scent Edinburgh 2013) is only partially clear, although it’s known to consist of three rooms – an unspecified opening room, an entirely white office and a final space described as ‘dark, intense and metal’ – whose positioning in the atmospheric basement of the Old Dick Veterinary building should have a powerful, emotive effect.
Summerhall, 560 1590, until Sat 31 Aug, free.