There was a rare instance of a crossword news story this week – a German gallery exhibited a work by one Arthur Koepcke from 1965 which included a crossword and the phrase “Insert words”. So an elderly visitor took them at their – ahem – word.
The BBC helpfully illustrated the article with an unfilled crossword from a newspaper, so I had a quick look round to see if there were examples. The piece was part of a longer series, one of which was held by a gallery in Denmark, and they did have a picture. Their example undeniably looks like a puzzle page from a weekend edition.
Digging around a little further I found a Mexican report of the incident. This had a rather more complete crossword image (an even more extended one promised by Google on an Anglo-Spanish LA paper did not appear on the page in question). Is this the damaged work in question? It doesn’t look quite like the Danish example.
There’s a multi-lingual aspect to this – German gallery, German visitor, German artist (though he died in Copenhagen), English instructions, and a Mexican report – so it’s a bit difficult to be sure. A German report (in English) mentions that she wrote in the English word ‘wall’ which does appear in the Mexican photo, along with a misspelling of ‘Portuguese’ and one or two things which don’t quite look like words from any language (though is that ‘tres’ running downwards?).
I may as well note that Marjorie once seized on one of my working copies (post-publication) and transformed it into a collage. She may even have sold it as I haven’t seen it around for a while. Mind you, Herr Koepcke was in the Fluxus movement, and I sometimes sense a fair bit of fluxus here as well.