Oh, the state of the economy, and its horrid effect on the arts. Lincoln Center may broker its treasured giant murals by Chagall. Both the Folk Art Museum and the Chelsea Art Museum are heading toward bankruptcy. Art jobs are rare, but internships are flourishing.
And this, artist Filip Noterdaeme has opened The Homeless Museum, or HOMU, a compact stand on West 22nd Street, equipped with tiny sculptures, a microphone stand and even a headphone audio guide.
The website is hilarious, citing Philippe de Montebello as an Honorary Trustee, Madame Butterfly as Director of Development and Floquet the albino gorilla as Life Trustee. And the collection- an amazing twist of wit. “Eau d’Abramovic” is said to be comprised of a block of ice Marina Abramovic performed on, and its “recommended for curators, gallery owners and art critics”- heh! “Egg on Schiele” is an Egon Schiele print with a sunny side up egg placed on it, for the “Staff & Security Department.” “Birth of a New Museum” mocks Courbet’s “Origin of the Universe” aka a painting of a vagina, but this with a smoking pipe. And the new acquisitions- my favorite being “Broken Flavin,” which are glass containers of shattered neon lights.
I’m not sure if Noterdaeme wishes to be as funny as I find him (I’m guessing yes), but HOMU is also a genius way for him to display his work. A pamphlet at his museum-stand says:
“My museum is small and admits only two visitors at a time, but it holds all the vital elements of a contemporary art museum–minus the shop and cafe. The HOMU booth is ticket counter, information desk, exhibition hall, press department and director’s office, all in one…”