Beware the killer art! You may have heard of the Stendhal syndrome that causes observers of beautiful art to swoon, faint, and hallucinate… Don’t worry, it’s psychosomatic and highly theoretical. Most artworks are relatively harmless in physical nature, but when it comes to this morbid little group, any interaction with the art could prove fatal. These sculptures, performances and machines are designed to burn, poison, decapitate, and propel you to your death. Tongue-in-cheek or not, these might make the next time you see that “Don’t touch the art!” at a museum a bit more… dramatic.
Julijonas Urbonas’s Euthanasia Coaster (2010) is a theoretical machine for that last fatal ride. The initial drop throws the participator into a state of exhilarating, “fairground anesthesia,” and the physics of its accelerating spirals are meticulously planned to cause oxygen deficiency in your brain as you experience greyout, tunnel vision, blackout, silence, euphoria, numbness and death, in that order. Did we say “could?” Make this one “will.”