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Artist group Rimini Protokoll turns Musk into a puppet

Elon Musk appears at an event. / Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/dpa
Elon Musk appears at an event. / Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/dpa

The artist group Rimini Protokoll has turned US tech billionaire Elon Musk into a puppet. It is part of an installation called "Alter Ego Raubkopie" as the first annual exhibition of the Dresden Puppet Theater Collection in its future home, as announced by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) on Friday. The SKD's new museum will officially open in the Kraftwerk Mitte on August 31 and will be open to the public from September 7.

The robot-controlled puppet with the likeness of the famous entrepreneur was purchased for the museum, along with the stage and technology, by the SKD Friends of Museis Saxonicis Usui (MSU). The ensemble is a central element of the production and the acquisition with the support of the circle of donors is therefore "particularly significant", said chairwoman Petra von Crailsheim according to the press release.

According to SKD, the puppet was designed by the well-known puppet maker Christian Werdin. Although it has strings on its wooden head, arms and legs, it is moved by a robotic arm via a wooden joystick that was developed at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. The multimedia puppet show in several rooms is about manipulation, loss of control and the question of who is actually playing with whom.

The MSU donors purchase contemporary art for the association of 15 museums every year, including works by Hito Steyerl and Olaf Nicolai in recent years. The MSU association has more than 2,200 members, creates encounters with art and artists, builds networks, promotes restorations and purchases.

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