Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When is big, too BIG? or You Promised me a Fuselage.

Building 5 at MASS MoCA
Cai Guo-Qiang's pyrotechnic installation

One of my favorite museums in the country is in a BIG friggin' mess. And I thought I had troubles!

Swiss artist Christoph Buchel and MASS MoCA Director, Joe Thompson are in a struggle that will not end easily or cleanly. The matter raises all kinds of legal contractual questions and it looks like only the courts can answer them.

Anyone who has visited MASS MoCA remembers what was in Building 5 when they visited. My memory is enlivened by my photo of Cai Guo-Qiang's floating / exploding cars that were there on my visit. Building 5 is mammoth. Buchel's idea for his installation, "Training Ground for Democracy," in Building 5, was to include the following, and then some:

"1 Fuel Tanker, Cleaned … 1,000 green beverage cups from race track. . . 9 10'x8'x20' Sea Containers … 10 Used Toothbrushes … 6 French barricades … 4 Ink Pads … Credit Card Reader … Bouillon Cubes … 21 Satellite Dishes …Heart-rate Monitor … Balloons from election rallies."

...not to mention and entire two-story Cape Cod house. The museum lost heart when Buchel asked for the fuselage of an airplane. This would make one hell of a mock-umentary.

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