Olaf Metzel is a sculptor, installation, and performance artist whose work typically addresses social and political issues, often resulting in divisive reactions from the public. Metzel first gained attention for his controversial work 13.4.81, which alluded to an untruthful report that the terrorist Sigurd Debus had died while on a hunger strike. The news resulted in a violent riot and had a significant impact on the subsequent German election. Metzel was accused by some detractors as sympathizing with terrorists, while others celebrated his willingness to address the event. Today Metzel's work continues to incorporate unexpected players, objects, and themes, addressing ideas that are typically considered wholly "bad" or "good" on their heads, revealing new ways of understanding them.
Metzel has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in Germany and beyond at institutions such as the Museum fur Modern Kunst in Bremen, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. He also participated in Documenta in 1987 and 1997.
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