Visitor Claims She Contracted Pink-Eye From Art Installation ‘The BEACH’

The installation brings the seaside to Washington DC. Photo: Dezeen

When Washington DC artist Piper Grosswendt visited the National Building Museum’s “The BEACH” installation, she was hoping for an afternoon of carefree fun. But she got more than she bargained for: she claims she contracted conjunctivitis from the immersive artwork.

The National Building Museum collaborated with design agency Snarkitecture, founded by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham, to create the installation, which features a seaside landscape inside the institution’s great hall, and includes an “ocean” made up of over a million transparent plastic balls.

The plastic balls are contained within a 10,000 sq. ft. enclosure Photo: Dezeen

The plastic balls are contained within a 10,000 sq. ft. enclosure.
Photo: via Dezeen.

Last week, Grosswendt noticed her eye started to turn unusually red. Concerned, she went to see a doctor who diagnosed her with bacterial “pink eye.”

After consulting medical professionals at the clinic, she believes “The BEACH” is the most likely place that she could have caught the infection.

A visitor relaxes in the 'water' Photo: Dezeen

A visitor relaxes in the ‘water’
Photo: via Dezeen.

“It’s a bummer, because it’s really fun and a minor public health risk,” she told the Washington City Paper, not without sarcasm.I just don’t want other people to get pink eye.”

In response, Brett Rodgers, the Building Museum’s director of marketing and communication, insisted that Grosswendt’s case of conjunctivitis is the only case brought into association with the museum’s installation.

Visitors can 'swim' in over 1 million transparent plastic balls Photo: Dezeen

Visitors can “swim” in over 1 million transparent plastic balls
Photo: via Dezeen.

Nevertheless, he announced that the museum would take action by installing hand sanitizer dispensers around the installation to improve hygiene conditions. He also warned that individuals suffering from illness should avoid the exhibition until they recover.


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