This morning the Washington Post published this Hirshhorn press release announcing the museum’s plans to relocate its bookstore. Because the new bookstore will be designed by Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken, the Hirshhorn plans to pay for it with funds set aside for acquisitions.
As it turns out, a museum spokesperson was eager to explain its new acquisition plans: “When the trustees refused to donate money for some of our director’s plans, we decided that one way to make things happen was to involve an artist in anything and everything we do,” the spokesman said. “That way we can tap the Hirshhorn’s abundant acquisitions funds to pay for whatever. We also thought the trustees would be less likely to object so long as it wasn’t their money. Heck, they might even be out shopping when this comes up at a board meeting. Wouldn’t that be ironic! Actually, now that I think about it, here’s another idea: We’ll have Richard Prince in the room when they’re out shopping. That way the whole trustee meeting can be paid for via the acquisitions budget!”
Here’s the list of upcoming Hirshhorn acquisitions:
1.) New sinks in the Hirshhorn bathrooms: Robert Gober. The sinks may still come from Kohler, but they won’t have faucets. “We thought about having running water in the sinks,” said Hirshhorn director Ken Lay. “But Olafur Eliasson was too expensive. Also, that’ll make Gober’s drains a nice conceptual touch.”
2.) Conservation of the Doug Aitken bookstore: Tino Sehgal. Conservators will walk in circles around the museum’s Bunshaft-designed building, talking about both the bookstore and the “progress” the museum’s director is making in transforming the Hirshhorn.
3.) New light bulbs for Hirshhorn galleries: Dan Flavin. Upon being informed Flavin was no longer alive, Lay seemed confused. Then a, er, light bulb went off over his head: “Spencer Finch!”
4.) Stocking the Hirshhorn bookstore: Josephine Meckseper. “We realized that acquiring stock for the bookstore would be expensive,” Lay said. “So we’re going to acquire books, t-shirts, whatevs, and then have Meckseper sign the purchase invoice. That way it’ll be fund-able through the acquisitions budget, convenient, and a wry commentary on consumerism!”
(In a related story, the Hirshhorn said that it plans to announce that from now on its library will be a Rachel Whiteread that the museum already owns. “That way we won’t need any more expensive books,” Lay said.)
5.) Auditing of the Hirshhorn’s acquisition expenditures: Josiah McElheny. Asked to explain the sudden switch away from Smithsonian accountants, Lay said: “From now on we’re pretty much going to do this kind of thing with mirrors.”