Dusseldorf & Duisburg
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The Steel Fulcrum by Max Couper
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg – City of Dusseldorf

Steel Fulcrum, Installation for the city of Dusseldorf
by Max Couper, 1997
30 ton London barge on a steel fulcrum, sprung at each end. A political artwork on the subject of 'Culture, Government & Business', starting in Duisburg in 1997, and ending at the European Parliament Brussels 1998

Couper Collection at the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg
European Centre of Modern Sculpture, 1997
One man exhibition of artwork by Max Couper
Now held in permanent trust in London




The Steel Fulcrum
began with an exhibition of the Couper Collection at the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg, and Max Couper's intention to create an associated installation with a 30 ton barge from London, suspended on the point of a steel fulcrum.

The installation involved the action of the public inside the barge, pivoting the barge by their body weight.

In Duisburg the Inner Harbour Corporation (Innenhafen Duisburg) was supposed to help the museum create the piece, but in fact ended up not co-operating with the artist and museum.

In protest, Max Couper organized at his opening at the Lehmbruck, the European Business Conference — and moved the Steel Fulcrum installation to the city of Dusseldorf.

This was intended as a literal metaphor — if you want business taking over culture, this is what it looks like. The irony, of course, was that nobody got the point, and were simply confused.

“The final artwork can be seen as a simple metaphor, of society as a room that we are all in together; a society built on the remnants of an industrial past and whose equilibrium and future direction is determined by the way in which we decide to walk together”
Max Couper in the book 'When Good Companies Do Bad Things' by Peter Schwartz (1999)

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