Museum Storage, 2004
Two-by-fours, marine fir plywood, hinges
location: drawings exhibited at Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX
Reversing the direction of site-specific art, in which art objects become physically integrated with their architectural environments, 'Museum Storage' takes five architectural spaces--for exhibiting, lounging, reading, screening, and lecturing--and compacts each into a self-contained 10' x 10' x 10' box. Each box, when opened, transforms into its programmed space.
The emphasis on autonomy partly responds to the conditions of Arthouse at the Jones Center in Austin, TX, for which the piece was proposed. Just as Arthouse temporarily packed up and placed in storage the tangible objects associated with an art space (walls, pedestals, vitrines), for renovations at the time of the exhibition, 'Museum Storage' packs up and stores the intangible elements (exhibiting, lounging, reading, screening, and lecturing). Indeed, the total surface area of the boxes when closed equals the total surface area of Arthouse's floor, as if the floor plane had buckled and folded up into boxes, capturing the ephemeral activities that once took place on its surface.
Each opened box is modeled after a paradigm of its respective program. The space for exhibiting is a portable wall from an art fair, while that for lecturing is a simplified church pulpit. The space for reading draws from a library's stacks and magazine room alike, while that for screening recalls museum viewing rooms. The space for lounging is modeled on a bleacher and demarcates two zones: the public front and, for the rebellious, a pit out back.