The radio play “Middelheim, The Interviews” by Paul Hendrikse and Nikolaus Gansterer debates the incidents around the fictitious closure of the Middelheim Museum, which was the first open-air sculpture museum of Europe in Antwerp. The Belgian sculpture park that opened its doors in 1951 was abruptly closed down in the early Nineties. Prior to this a performance called “The Last Acquisition” took place that translated the museums entire collection into one single work. This performance is seen as the first step towards the closure of the Middelheim Museum. Visitors are invited to follow the acoustic trail of a journalist on her quest to discover what caused the parks’ decay. By listening to a series of interviews with eyewitnesses the controversial history of this sculpture park unfolds.

What has happened to this once so important museum, what was thereal reason behind the closure of its gates? Can we preserve the memory of a culture that has gone lost, and, if so, how far would we go to re-establish what is left of it?
In 2008 the radio piece was again reworked and presented at the Jacobipark in the sculpture park of the Kuenstlerverein Malkasten in Düsseldorf as a contribution (in form of a telephone dialup sound piece) to the openair exhibition Parcours interdit II.

Text: Paul Hendrikse, Sound: Nikolaus Gansterer. With the voices of Elena Cooke, Ida De Vos, Davis Freeman, Joris Kestens, Martin Nachbar, Guillaume Robert, Nikolaus Gansterer, Paul Hendrikse. Jingle/Music: Stefan Geissler
, Mastering: Martin Leitner. Production: ORF Kunstradio