Hans Haacke, Rhinewater Purification Plant
 
 


Hans Haacke, Rhinewater Purification Plant, 1972 Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany
© VGBild-Kunst

Haacke’s Rhinewater Purification Plant stands as the historical precedent for artists like Betty Beaumont, Jackie Brookner, Tim Collins, Betsy Damon, Reiko Goto, Basia Irland, Stacy Levy, Ocean Earth, Aviva Rahmani, and Buster Simpson, whose art concerns water quality. By displaying the Krefeld Sewage Plant’s murky discharge, officially treated enough to return to the Rhine River, Haacke brought attention to the plant’s role in degrading the river. By pumping the water through an additional filtration system and using the surplus water to water the museum’s garden, he introduced gray-water reclamation.

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