My instinctive reaction to this story is that it's a publicity stunt for Kippenberger, because I've heard stories like this before. In fact, the linked news article reminds us of these past stories:
Works of art not infrequently fall victim to zealous cleaners. In 1986, a "grease stain" by Joseph Beuys... was mopped away at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, western Germany.I remember another that involved something that looked like a pile of trash. Sorry, I do not believe that galleries and museums put up displays worth 100s of 1000s of dollars and don't carefully instruct the cleaning staff about what not to touch. Oh, yeah, here's the trash one:
A bag of rubbish that was part of a Tate Britain work of art has been accidentally thrown away by a cleaner. The bag filled with discarded paper and cardboard was part of a work by Gustav Metzger, said to demonstrate the "finite existence" of art.
It was thrown away by a cleaner at the London gallery, which subsequently retrieved the damaged bag. The 78-year-old artist replaced it with a new bag. The gallery would not reveal whether he would be compensated.These artists are arting about destruction. So what counts as an integral part of the installation? I suspect they love it when the cleaning person cleans something. It gets in the press, and we're talking about these people now. I'm digging up this 7-year-old story!
The bag was part of Metzger's Recreation of First Public Demonstration of Auto-Destructive Art, a copy of a piece he produced in 1960. Tate Britain said the work "is made up of several elements, one of which is a rubbish bag included by the artist as an integral part of the installation"....
Metzger, a German artist who lives in east London, invented "auto-destructive" art in 1959.
I'm not saying the cleaning person is faking or nonexistent, but I think the exhibits are set up in a way that attracts the unwitting participation of the common non-artist for the titillation and lofty amusement of art consumers.