Büchel vs. Mass MoCA

by Art Fag City on July 26, 2007 · 8 comments Newswire

We caught wind of the Büchel vs. Mass MoCA several months ago in an off the record conversation, but it has to be said that dispute has ballooned into a far greater mess than anyone could have anticipated then. At the time, Christoph Büchel had only quit working on the promised installation which involved the use of some rather expensive materials including the charred fuselage of an airliner – no one knew how Mass MoCA was going to respond. Certainly we didn’t expect a legal claim from the museum that the work itself is not art.

Now, I don’t need to explain the reasons this line of rationale creates problems to know that before I do, every artist reading this information will have stored this information away as “Self interested Museum willing to trod upon artists.” Regardless of whether the sentiment holds any degree of accuracy, it astounds me that a museum could get so caught up in an fight, that they could lose site of what a move like this might do not only to their public image, but the public funding of art in the future.

For more on this subject see:

Edward Winkleman

MTAA

CLANCCO

ArtInfo

NYTimes

Modern Kicks

ANABA

  • Steve

    In this situation, the museum had to stand up for itself as well as standing up for other cultural institutions. Buchel was a hundread and fifty thousand dollars over budget and months over date, as well as taking up the biggest space, building five in mass moca, undermining the open way in which mass moca supports artists, if anything what buchel did hurt public funding to art not what mass moca is doing, by taking advantage of the institution that gave him i would say to much free room.

  • Steve

    In this situation, the museum had to stand up for itself as well as standing up for other cultural institutions. Buchel was a hundread and fifty thousand dollars over budget and months over date, as well as taking up the biggest space, building five in mass moca, undermining the open way in which mass moca supports artists, if anything what buchel did hurt public funding to art not what mass moca is doing, by taking advantage of the institution that gave him i would say to much free room.

  • amory blaine

    Indeed, but working without a proper contract on an installation of this size is the mistake of both parties. This is the crux of the impasse, having not decided on the terms of engagement at the start.

    It’s not a deliberate move by Büchel. I have that on good authority from closer spectators than we. Now that would be a slef destructive move. Picking on Mass MoCA. Have you ever been to North Adams?

    It looks like the people at Mass MoCA are grasping at straws. They’ve got a room full of stuff taking up time on their schedule and they need to draw attendance. Let’s also remember that in the court of law, lawyers get their due. It’s not like it’s a counseling session between Christoph and Joe Thompson with Barbara Streisand mediating. It’s United States District Court, folks.

    And, by the way, if you have a chance to go and “see” the project, you should. It’s a gripping reminder of the potential of the unrealized.

  • amory blaine

    Indeed, but working without a proper contract on an installation of this size is the mistake of both parties. This is the crux of the impasse, having not decided on the terms of engagement at the start.

    It’s not a deliberate move by Büchel. I have that on good authority from closer spectators than we. Now that would be a slef destructive move. Picking on Mass MoCA. Have you ever been to North Adams?

    It looks like the people at Mass MoCA are grasping at straws. They’ve got a room full of stuff taking up time on their schedule and they need to draw attendance. Let’s also remember that in the court of law, lawyers get their due. It’s not like it’s a counseling session between Christoph and Joe Thompson with Barbara Streisand mediating. It’s United States District Court, folks.

    And, by the way, if you have a chance to go and “see” the project, you should. It’s a gripping reminder of the potential of the unrealized.

  • amory blaine

    In case you’re wondering, I have a double-major in Slef-Destruction.

  • amory blaine

    In case you’re wondering, I have a double-major in Slef-Destruction.

  • http://www.michaelkusek.com Michael

    Here’s some of the latest from the area’s alt.paper.

    http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=2259

  • http://www.michaelkusek.com Michael

    Here’s some of the latest from the area’s alt.paper.

    http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=2259

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