Public Fountain LSD Hall, 2003

Installation view: The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2009
© Bildrecht, Vienna, 2009 | Photo: Watanabe Osamu | Mori Art Museum

LSD Fountain (Victorian lead crystal glass, concrete, toughened glass, metal, water, potentiated LSD), LSD Hall model (wood, aluminum, inkjet print on paper, plastic, glass), anti-homeless bench, carnivorous Nepenthes plants, certificate (Ink-jet and ball-pen on paper, painted wood, glass), proposal (ink on paper)
180 x 210 x 210 cm (fountain)
70 x 62 x 27 cm (model)
57 x 43.8 x 3 cm (certificate, framed)
34 x 29.5 cm (proposal)
Overall dimensions variable

Public Fountain LSD Hall was originally conceived for an urban building site in the city of Dresden, combining a crystal glass fountain and an anti-homeless bench with carnivorous Nepenthes plants. The unrealized project, now part of the exhibition, proposed a steel box with unidirectional glasses, through which the visitors could observe the city without being seen. Crowing the LSD Hall would have been a crystal fountainhead in Victorian style features of the same shape and materials as the one designed for the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London. In Klaus Weber’s version, water gushes from its top and then cascades down through three basins onto a concrete floor and releases potentized LSD. Potentization is a homeopathic method that involves the serial dilution of a remedy that can be brought to a point where the actual substance is only present in residual traces. Notwithstanding the scientific argument, for Weber, water has a “memory,” meaning it carries the “imprints” of substances in its molecular structure. The cascading of the water reactivates the LSD imprints and potentially sets in motion the effects of hallucinations, despite the substance’s chemical absence. 

In Public Fountain LSD Hall, Weber examines and connects a number of concerns which question the divisions between legitimacy and illegitimacy and legality and illegality. LSD is considered an illegal substance, although its components are found in the carnivorous Nepenthes plants adorning the fountain. Homeopathy, on the other hand, is deemed an illegitimate, or at least ineffective, medical method. Public space is meant to welcome the public, but here it excludes its use by people experiencing homelessness, considered both illegal and illegitimate. The disciplining power of the state and its institutions not only regulates the adequacy of medical knowledge versus charlatanism and the desires for “expanded consciousness” emblematized in the use of psychoactive substances, but also distributes agency in the use of the public space. Weber aims to intervene in the dominant cultural and social consensus, while unveiling the dynamics of authority, classification, and the exclusion underlying all things public. 


Group show: Remedios
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba
Curator: Daniela Zyman
Exhibition 14 April 2023 -  March 2024

Born in Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1967. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.