Formula Compound
Dennis Oppenheim
1982 - steel, iron

Formula Compound (A Combustion Chamber, An Exorcism)

Before the construction of a site specific artwork at Celle, each proposal is closely examined to understand how the work will be affected by the elements over time, as well as the regular maintenance it will require. It has always been the Collection's obligation to maintain the spaces as they were when the artist found them as much as possible. Unfortunately, in recent years, several hundred trees have been felled by destructive windstorms. The work that has suffered the most damage from these storms is Dennis Oppenheim's Formula Compound, designed as a complex fireworks machine. Its massive dimensions were dwarfed by a majestic oak tree that rose high above the piece, binding art and space even more closely. The large oak still lies next to the artwork, bearing witness to the force that nature unleashed on the night of April 20, 2005. A wide field surrounded by a thick wood hosts this work, composed of several overhead cables beginning at the top of the slope and ending at the towering structure at the heart of the work. From the tower, launching ramps extend toward the valley. A series of panels provide differing levels of transparency through which one can view the implied fireworks display.

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