Guggenheim, a work in progress

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A visit to the Guggenheim, on a hot Sunday, in a city abandoned by the MoMA, felt a bit like a stroll through a body during open heart surgery. The museum is “half-open” to the full steam of international tourist-public even during its preparation for the upcoming Moving Pictures show. It is possible to walk through portions of the museum, using obscure staircases and following numbers and arrows made out of blue two inch masking tape, names of artists printed on letter sized sheets (in Times New Roman) and the help of the friendly museum-staff (Most of them Russian?). There are 7 floors in the museum, most of them closed at this time (more or less secretly). The main spiral-ramp is in the process of being repainted. The black of the last exhibition (Body&Soul) is now gone, at least in most places. There is a huge crane right in the center of the museum, ready to lift heavy items. There are plants in large boxes everywhere, probably part of a Nam Jun Paik installation. The 20 or so boxes with SONY monitors ready to be planted seem to make this the most logical explanation.
Some of the photographs of the upcoming show are already in place. Some are expected by empty boards marked with post-its. Some contain names, some obscure numbers.
Areas around the staircases look a bit like installations by Fischli and Weiss.
The show so far appears to be dominated by the Bernd and Hilla Becher, students Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer and naturally, Andreas Gursky (The show’s information architecture gives each artist a logo based on their initials. Andreas Gursky gets an AG, which is coincidently the term used to describe publicly traded companies in Germany. Quite appropriate.). Reading the Moving Pictures about page shows that the spectrum of the show will widen, as more floors open. A hand picked selection of work owned by, or promised to the museum will be on view again, making it a very Guggenheim show. It will probably be another blockbuster and will then travel to the other branches of the excellent empire. Is the Museum worth a visit now?, in a pre-show construction phase? It certainly is. It is actually quite refreshing to see making of an exhibition, which in itself is somehow a piece of art created by curators. (It was interesting to see two experts of the Guggenheim Staff prepare the Nan Goldin area of the exhibition with incredible care.)
There are currently also some highs of the permanent collection on view.
The Seventh floor holds two large scuptures by Rachel Whiteread and spending some time with them, in a museum not as crowded as usual, was by itself worth a visit.

1 Comment

"a stroll through a body during open heart surgery" is a fantastic image.

i was anesthetized by the sun.

no museums for me;
i perched on a bench,
dripped sweet sweat and read.

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on June 23, 2002 11:19 PM.

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