September 30, 2013

Blinking art exhibit closed after patrons fall ill

Before entering, patrons must sign a waiver that warns that viewers my experience ‘a loss of spatial orientation.’

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Authorities have temporarily shut down a room-sized art installation with blinking lights in Pittsburgh after three visitors reported seizure-like symptoms.

An 18-year-old woman was treated at the scene Sunday afternoon after reporting seizure-like symptoms at the downtown work titled “Zee” by Austrian artist Kurt Hentschlager, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

District EMS Chief Paul Sabol said she was the third person to report feeling ill since the exhibition opened Friday.

Before entering, patrons must sign a waiver that describes the exhibit as “intense stroboscopic light in combination with thick artificial fog, resulting in a loss of spatial orientation.” People with photosensitive epilepsy, breathing or heart problems, migraines, claustrophobia or anxiety are warned not to go inside.

Sabol said the exhibit will be temporarily closed and changes could be made before it reopens. Henstchlager couldn’t be reached for comment.

The installation has appeared in other venues in the city previously, and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust spokeswoman Shaunda Miles said some patrons reported seizures in those places as well.

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