Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Hirshhorn: ‘Bulbous Membrane’ announcement in fall

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Two follow-ups related to MAN July Newsmaker Q&A with Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough: I asked Clough if the Smithsonian would be contributing to the Hirshhorn’s plan to build a bulbous membrane inside the Bunshaft ‘doughnut.’ In our interview, Clough indicated that it is unlikely that the Smithsonian will contribute funds to the proposed project. “[Hirshhorn director] Richard Koshalek has a lot of contacts, that’s why we hired him,” Clough said. “Our strategic plan isn’t just about thinking, it’s about resources. We knew we needed more money and that we have to rely less on the federal government to get where we’re going. We have to raise external funds to do these things.”

I asked the Hirshhorn what it had raised toward the project, which was first leaked seven months ago, but the museum declined to provide those figures. “As you can imagine, we’ve got proposals out to individuals, foundations and others,” Hirshhorn spokesperson Gabriel Riera told me via email. “We have received some pledges of support already and will be making an announcement this fall.”

(As you may recall, last December MAN readers out-raised the Hirshhorn $1,499-$0 over the course of MAN’s annual DonorsChoose.org fundraising drive. Every penny helped provide art supplies and materials for public schools.)

I also asked the museum to clarify Clough’s reference to what the Secretary called Koshalek’s “idea of levitating the building with lights you put on it in the evening.”

“We think that [Clough] was referring to a project we’re exploring with Doug Aitken,” Hirshhorn communications director Gabriel Riera told me in an email. “It would involve projections on the building. Doug is one of several artists we’re talking to about a range of projects that engage our building as well as the collection. As we prepare for our 40th anniversary, a few years down the road, we want to take every opportunity to involve artists and their creative input and inspiration in the life of the museum.”

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Comments

  1. by Cezanne Lazer

    How’d you like to be inside of that thing?!

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