7 Artworks That Could Kill You


Beware the killer art! You may have heard of the Stendhal syndrome that causes observers of beautiful art to swoon, faint, and hallucinate… Don’t worry, it’s psychosomatic and highly theoretical. Most artworks are relatively harmless in physical nature, but when it comes to this morbid little group, any interaction with the art could prove fatal. These sculptures, performances and machines are designed to burn, poison, decapitate, and propel you to your death. Tongue-in-cheek or not, these might make the next time you see that “Don’t touch the art!” at a museum a bit more… dramatic.

Julijonas Urbonas’s Euthanasia Coaster (2010) is a theoretical machine for that last fatal ride. The initial drop throws the participator into a state of exhilarating, “fairground anesthesia,” and the physics of its accelerating spirals are meticulously planned to cause oxygen deficiency in your brain as you experience greyout, tunnel vision, blackout, silence, euphoria, numbness and death, in that order. Did we say “could?” Make this one “will.”

Artist Tom Sachs puts dark twist on the concept of revered brands with his Chanel Guilottine (1998). We wouldn’t suggest testing the authenticity of its design. It looks a lot more functional than his Prada Toilet .

Pyromaniac artist collective Seemen have designed this toasty chamber of spinning, flame-spewing metal bows to encase a willing participant in a Fire Shower. That’s one way to tan! Or rather, roast yourself slightly inside a reverse-rotisserie.

Notorious art-pranksters Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.org’s Colorless, odorless and tasteless (2011) is vintage racing arcade game customized with a real engine that sputters out carbon monoxide when played. Better crack open a window!

San Francisco’s Eric Paulos-designed Gallery Shooting Gallery project is literally “Taking Aim at the Target Audience.” The Shockwave Vortex Gun is controlled by internet users who can remotely shoot at museum attendees, though its original destructive force — designed by Nazi scientists — has been reduced to “a strike of a strong pillow.”

Only artist Yoko Ono could render something so epically maniacal as blood-draining homicide into a poem like this. That cutesy couplet finish… will finish you.

Have you experienced reoccurring thoughts of virtual suicide? Project Suicide Machine will terminate your web life so you can get back to you “real” one. Instead of manually deleting your existence on social network sites, you can just sit back and watch yourself “go away” as the handy tool purges all traces of you 2.0. Call it a virtual Kevorkian.